QUAERITUR: 15 Aug – Assumption – Day of Obligation?

Quite a few people have written asking whether this coming Saturday, 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, is a Holy Day of Obligation.

The answer is – at least for the United States – NO, it is not.

According to the USCCB, when certain Holy Days of Obligation fall on a Saturday, the obligation is abrogated.  That is to say, if it is on Saturday and you don’t go to Mass, you don’t sin for having missed a Mass of obligation, of "precept".

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.


That said… I think it is a good thing to go to Mass on these beautiful feasts!

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  1. lucy says:

    We are indeed blessed in Fresno, Ca to have a traditional Mass said this Saturday for the Feast of the Assumption. A local priest agreed to offer this Mass for us. Thanks be to God.

  2. Jack Hughes says:

    As we in the SSPX don’t go in for the whole ‘movable feasts’ thing we’ll all be at Mass, I’m particuarly excited becasue my copy of the 1962 missal will have arrived by then:)

  3. Christina says:

    It’s too bad, because attending Mass on holy days can be such a witness. Back in my nerdy band camp days, our guest instructor mentioned that we ought to leave religion off the field when we come to play; I told him that evening I had to miss practice for the Feast of the Assumption.

  4. jbalza007 says:

    We too are blessed in Oakland, CA — a High Mass at St. Margaret Mary. Looking forward for that.

  5. wolfeken says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “I think it is a good thing to go to Mass on these beautiful feasts! ”

    Thank you for saying that. One thing that drives me nuts is when priests devote half their homily explaining all the reasons one does not have go to Mass.

    It’s a shame the American bishops whittled down holy days of obligation to three (!) this year, with two of them being federal holidays.

    The good news is that the virtual elimination of the novus ordo Assumption on Saturday means traditionally-leaning priests have free time to say the TLM. In the Washington, D.C. region, nine (!!!) TLMs will be offered on Saturday morning. A typical 3rd Saturday of the month would normally have zero TLMs offered. So there is good to come out of the bishops’ latest lousy decision.

  6. Chris says:

    Just more nonsense by the USCCB.

    Our parish actually printed that it was a holy day of obligation in the bulletin this Sunday as common sense would dictate. The priest then had to apologize and tell people it’s not a day of obligation.

    Just more watering down …

  7. momoften says:

    The parishes in our town (4) in the immediate area won’t offer it. The only chance for a Saturday Mass is the Monastery at 7:30, or 30 min away. I can remember as a child going to church on the Feast Day. It struck me as strange having a Holy Day of Obligation in the middle of summer we went and it was very nice…sadly, most children in this town who are Catholic will NEVER know what a privilege it is to go on this feast day. Someday, I hope (I still hope and pray) that we American Catholics STOP giving up these Holy Days of Obligation our Bishops relax for us. As for my family, we will be in church on Saturday!

  8. ssoldie says:

    I have ignored the USCCB directives for all these years, them and thier ‘abrogated, abolished, surpressed’, it is a Holy Day of Obligation, like my brethren FSSPX, I will be at Mass.

  9. JosephMary says:

    I will be on retreat with the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Needless to say, we will be celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption in a big way. Marian Feasts are very exciting days for the Order!

    It is also an anniversary of consecration and profession for me; a very special Feast.

    In my hometown, we have a couple of new priests and they have agreed to have a weekly Saturday morning Mass. In our town of 4 parishes and over 100,000 population, there was no weekly Saturday morning Mass until 3 weeks ago. These are young priests and they like to say yes to holy things.

    For some years I have been hearing: Wait til you see the priests that are in formation in seminary now! And I have been waiting and now I see what was meant. Deo Gratias!

  10. ckdexterhaven says:

    My old priest used to call it a “Holy Day of Opportunity”… aaargh. As if an Obligation is a bad thing.

  11. Ernesto Gonzalez says:


    I’m in the D.C. region. Where are these masses?

  12. Diego F. C. says:

    What’s the reason, father? I don’t understand.

  13. Bill in Texas says:

    I’m hoping we have a good turnout Saturday morning for Mass. We’ve been saying St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Novena to the Immaculata after morning Mass since last Thursday, to conclude Friday morning. Friday night we are saying the Liturgy of the Hours, Evening Prayer, for the Solemnity of the Assumption, with Benediction and Reposition. This is the first time (as far as I know) that we have done this in our parish, and I hope we can find a way to hold Evening Prayer regularly. Saturday morning we will offer an opportunity for those who wish to consecrate themselves to Mary (or to renew their consecration) to do so publicly, using St. Maximilian’s prayer of consecration. We’re also encouraging people to join the Militia Immaculata.

    Tuesday we hold the first meeting of our Village of the Immaculata.

  14. kmart says:

    As much as we may like or dislike many of the things the USCCB does, I would think that they have a “good” reason for doing what they do (with the loosest and most ambigious definition for the word good).

    In this case I would think it would be to make things easier for people that don’t have traditional work schedules. Believe it or not some people have a hard enough time fitting Sunday/saturday evening mass into their work schedules.

    But even so with the obligation droped there is still no reason why you cant go if you want to. I think its an even greater witness to the beauty of our faith if we go when we dont have to.

  15. mvhcpa says:

    I hate it when you go to the Saturday evening Mass for the feast and you get the ordinary time vigil. You feel like you were cheated out of something.

  16. gloriainexcelsis says:

    St. Stephen’s in Sacramento is celebrating Saturday as the Holy Day of Obligation. [It is not, this year, a Holy Day of Obligation. I am sure that what this means is they are keeping the schedule.] Our Masses will follow the Sunday schedule, two Low Masses and High Mass at 10:30am. Sunday Masses will be for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost with commemoration of St. Joachim.

  17. bernadette says:

    The Assumption, or the fact that Saturday is the Solemnity of the Assumption was not even mentioned in our church bulletin. Saturday is business as usual.

  18. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Thank you, Father. I’ll have to ask our priests at St. Stephen’s if that’s the reason.

  19. JohnMa says:


    Here are the DC area EF Masses on Saturday that I know of:

    St. Mary’s in DC will be celebrating an EF Mass at Noon. St. Lawrence in Alexandria will be celebrating an EF Mass at 11 a.m. St. John the Baptist in Front Royal will also have an EF Mass at 11 a.m. St. Mary in Alexandria will be having an EF Mass at 10 a.m.

  20. JohnMa says:

    Sorry, the St. Mary’s in DC EF Mass is at 9 a.m., not Noon.

  21. grhone says:

    Maybe we could all make a special effort this weekend for the Feast of the Assumption, as an Act of reparation to the Queen of Heaven on behalf of us all and our poor fallen nature. There is still much evil in the world as evidenced by the desecration of a statue of the Blessed Virgin this week in Calgary, Canada.


    Morning Star, Ark of the Covenant, Mystical Rose, Tower of Gold, Singular Vessel of Devotion, Help of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, Help of Christians: Pray for Us.

  22. Daniel_Nekic says:

    In Australia, it is still a holy day of obligation.

  23. Denise says:

    More information for the DC area is here. In addition to the EF Masses mentioned above, Holy Spirit in Annandale, VA is celebrating the Vigil Mass with a Novus Ordo chanted in Latin.

  24. Templar says:

    At St. Joseph in Macon Georgia our wonderful Pastor is taking advantage of the “shifting feast schedule” to offer the expected OF Mass on Saturday morning and on Friday evening at 7PM he is offering a EF High Mass for the Feast of the Assumption. I’m sure some might take exception to the EF used as a vigil mass for a Feast the following day, but I am just grateful for our Pastor taking every opportunity to offer the EF to us and will not quibble. I chalk that up to gravitational pull.

  25. irishgirl says:

    I’m going to a TLM on the Feastday!

    These ‘whittled down holydays’ are soooo stupid-what was the USCCB thinking of?

  26. Dr. Eric says:

    All Holy Days of Obligation should remain in force on which ever day they fall. Those who have to work or cannot make it for serious reason should be excused. The exception should prove the rule. It will hurt nobody to go to church 2 days in a row.

  27. Laurinda1230 says:

    I, too, plan on attending Mass on this feast day. But I will be in Washington, DC on business. Can anyone recommend a good Mass/Parish to go to on August 15th?

    Actually, I would like to visit several parishes and especially the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. If anyone else has other suggestions on what to see then please let me know!

  28. Bruce says:

    This Saturday, August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is also the Patronall Feast Day of the Cathedral and the Archdiocese of Halifax,Canada. At this Mass the new Grant of Arms given by the Canadian Heraldic Authority will be unveiled. I have seen the Grant of Arms and it has a definite Marian character. I will be there!

  29. Athanasius says:

    According to the USCCB, when certain Holy Days of Obligation fall on a Saturday, the obligation is abrogated. That is to say, if it is on Saturday and you don’t go to Mass, you don’t sin for having missed a Mass of obligation, of “precept”.

    Granted this is a valid exercise of their authority and the day is not an obligation, they are just wimps and must think we are too. There are how many holy days of obligation a year? Six? And being required to go to Church two days a week ever few months is hard? Do we believe in the Catholic faith or do we not? This lame duck approach is from the city of man not the city of God.

  30. lavatea says:

    Bill in Texas,

    What parish do you attend? I’ve gotten the impression in the past that you are somewhere near the Mesquite area. I am from Mesquite and am often in town on Sundays and would love to know a good parish to visit when I am there.

  31. JohnMa says:


    You can’t go wrong with St. Mary’s in DC. They are offering an EF Mass at
    9 a.m. and a NO Mass at noon. They are located on H and 5th Sts. NW.

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