Father Kevin’s Reflection– December 27, 2015– What are the Five “Holy Days of Obligation”?

holy-familyWhat are the Five “Holy Days of Obligation”?


They are:

Friday, January 1, 2016 -Mary, Mother of God

Monday, August 15 – The Assumption of Mary

Tuesday, November 1 – All Saints Day

Thursday, December 8 – The Immaculate Conception

Sunday, December 25 – The Nativity of the Lord

Sunday, January 1, 2017 – Mary, Mother of God

(Then it starts all over again.)


These days mark significant Solemnities of our Catholic faith and since they do not always fall on Sunday (except once every 7 years) the Church wants us to celebrate them no matter what day of the week they fall.

Now … go home … get out the Sharpie and circle these dates in those new 2016 calendars and when you turn to the new month … you will see … and prepare yourself … for coming to the Holy Day Mass.  Four of them fall within a two month period (with the Feast of the Mother of God coming up next week).

All Catholics are bound to attend Mass for this Feast, either by attending a vigil Mass the night before or a Mass on the very day.  This gets a little tricky when a Holy Day falls either side of Sunday, so I’d like to review the options you have to fulfill your obligation to celebrate both Sunday and the Feast Day.

First of all, there is no way to attend Mass on Saturday and have “it count for” both the Solemnity and Sunday!  No, you must attend two Masses next week!  Please look on this as the great opportunity that it is … the chance to be reminded of God’s marvelous plan for our redemption that involved a woman without sin … Mary … who was chosen to be the Mother of God and give humanity (and flesh) to Jesus!  Hence, delight in the manifold graces that God will lavish on you each time you glorify Him through His Son in the Mass.  Enjoy and celebrate this wonder filled (wonderful) Christmas Season!   Remember, the Year of Mercy and Grace of 2016 will only occur once in our lifetime.