REMINDER – 1 January – Holy Day of Obligation

1 January 2010 is a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. 

It is among the Holy Days for the Latin Church.

If you are able to go to Mass on 1 January and do not go, you commit a sin you must confess.  You are not obliged to receive Holy Communion, but you have to go to Mass.

So, right now, make your plan about going to Mass on Friday, 1 January.

Do you remember your Precepts of the Church?

1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

Cf. The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2041-3.


2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

The second precept ("You shall confess your sins at least once a year") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83

The third precept ("You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

2043 The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.85

The fifth precept ("You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church") means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.86

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.87

82 Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, cann. 881 § 1, § 2, § 4.
83 Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719.
84 Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 § 3.
85 Cf. CIC, cann. 1249-1251; CCEO, can. 882.
86 Cf. CIC, can. 222; CCEO can. 25; Furthermore, episcopal conferences can establish other ecclesiastical precepts for their own territories (Cf. CIC, can. 455).
87 Cf. CIC, can. 222.

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  1. Mark M says:

    I’ve been told that it’s not a Holyday here in the UK. I must confess I don’t understand why; maybe a reader can explain, (a) for England; (b) for Scotland?

  2. AM says:

    Canada too!

  3. pelerin says:

    No not in England but there is nothing to stop us attending Mass all the same. It is a wonderful way to start the New Year.

  4. jenne says:

    Apparently not a Holy Day of Obligation either in CA. Our priests are having Mass available in our town on new Years Day anyway, thank God!
    They drive from another parish.

  5. introibo says:

    Maybe you left it out be accident, but isn’t one of the precepts to observe the marriage laws of the Church?

  6. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Father. These little “nudges” (actually information points) are appreciated.

  7. rinkevichjm says:

    Are you certain that applies in regions that celebrate Ascension on Sunday (i.e. California)? My local parish priest said it wasn’t. Even the Wikipedia seems to know that the Ecclesiastical Province of Los Angeles (CA, USA):

    As directed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy and the Ecclesiastical Province of Los Angeles, the archdiocese annually observes four Holy Days of Obligation. The Roman Catholic Church currently recognizes ten holy days, established in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. However, the USCCB has reduced that number to 6 for Latin Rite dioceses in the United States. As of January 1, 1993, no provinces in the United States celebrate the solemnities of Epiphany, Corpus Christi, Saint Joseph, or the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul.[2] The Province of Los Angeles, which includes the L.A. Archdiocese, further modified the list and currently celebrates 4 holy days of obligation on the day prescribed by canon law. The solemnity of the Ascension is moved from Thursday of the sixth week of Easter to the seventh Sunday of Easter. The province does not celebrate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God as a holy day.[3] Though this move was not approved by the proper channels, namely the Episcopal Conference with approval of Rome.

    As my local parish is in the Ecclesiastical Province of Los Angeles, they are only saying the standard daily mass. Don’t know what to say about this….

  8. ray from mn says:

    Back in the olden days (the 1950s)they were called the Six Commandments of the Church.

    Father, when did those “Commandments” become “Precepts” (A principle or rule imposing a standard of action or conduct”)?

    I would agree with Bishop Trautman on this one. The word is too difficult. We need to change it back to “commandment” if we are going to expect people to obey them.

    And, when did the new age airy-fairy, pie in the sky liberals decide that the Sixth Commandment, “Contribute to the support of the Church” was not necessary because Catholics were overly generous?

    I see a fair number of collection baskets and there are a goodly number of dollar bills in them to this day.

    That was what my Dad, making probably about $4,000 a year, supporting a wife and five children as a mailman, contributed each week back than. I know the amount because the parish printed and distributed a list of contributions by it’s members each year.

  9. sanctus3 says:

    Typical Southern California- no Holy Day of Obligation. As found in our neighboring parish bulletin:

    The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God: Friday, January 1
    On New Year’s Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. As the New Year begins we commemorate the greatest of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s privileges, her divine motherhood. All other favors she received, including her Immaculate Conception, were bestowed on her in view of the fact that she was to become truly the Mother of God. January 1 is a Holy Day,

    but not a day of obligation for our Diocese.

  10. ray from mn says:

    Ooops. Never mind. It was the marriage commandment.

  11. pelerin says:

    I see that the Holy Father will be celebrating Epiphany on January 6th whereas in England our Bishops moved it to the nearest Sunday. How I wish the Universal Church would celebrate the feast days on the same day.

  12. Frank H says:

    I was thinking there were seven precepts, including obeying laws of matrimony and participation in the mission of evangelization.

  13. Frank H says:

    And on the subject of Holy Days of Obligation, I find it bewildering that in the US we reduce the number, I imagine since someone thinks it is too great a burden to get to obligatory Mass on a weekday, yet every Ash Wednesday the church is packed, and attendance is not obligatory.

  14. kat says:

    What DID happen to 6. “To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage”? : )

    Happy New Year to all! I will be singing the 8:00 AM TLM Jan. 1. Can’t stay up too late with the kids!

  15. Except in the Roman Protestant Diocese of Los Angeles.

    3 years and counting since Jan 1st was last a Holy Day of Obligation…I nonetheless shall be going to Mass that day.

  16. rinkevichjm says:

    There is more on that at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles website. Namely this:

    Holy Days of Obligation The Archdiocese of Los Angeles usually observes 4 solemnities designated as Holy Days of Obligation with the obligation to participate in Mass: Christmas (December 25), Mary, Assumption (August 15), All Saints (November 1) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8).The Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. In the dioceses of the California province (including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles), the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1) is not celebrated as a holy day of obligation. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy has provided the following guidelines for determining exceptions to the above observations:
    * when January 1, August 15, November 1 fall on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass does not hold.
    * when December 8 falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass remains.
    * when December 8 falls on a Sunday, the observance is transferred to Monday, December 9 and there is no obligation to participate in Mass.

  17. Penguins Fan says:

    I returned from Eucharistic Adoration about half an hour ago. Adoration was at Our Lady of Victory Maronite Catholic church in Scott Twp., PA.

    The Maronite Catholic Church continues to observe Epiphany on January 6. Bully for the Maronites! My family will be there for the Vigil the evening of January 5.

    The Province of Los Angeles…….if I was a visitor there I would find an Eastern Catholic Church to attend if no TLM was available, but that’s just me…..

  18. ckdexterhaven says:

    There’s a parish in Raleigh where Father X calls it a Holy Day of Opportunity. That’s my *former* parish. I prefer Obligation.

  19. Joshua08 says:

    FWIW, it is not just the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and His Eminence Roger Cardinal Mahony, to whom, though he have faults, is owed respect as a prince of the Church, but every single diocese in California (Archbishop Levada started this in the San Francisco Province, which includes Hawaii) as well as at least the diocese of Las Vegas

    Their Lordships, the Bishops, get around the canonical requirement for approval from Rome after as vote of the Conference by granting a dispensation each year. I assume the power to dispense is meant to be ad hoc in Canon Law, but nothing that I know of actually prevents a bishop from just dispensing year after year. It is a most unfortunate practice, but many parishes I know of offer more Masses on that day than they would for daily Mass.

  20. MargaretMN says:

    HDOO are decided by diocese and there is a national component. There are some patronal feasts, like the feast of St. James, which I think is still a HDOO in Spain or at least it was in the 80s when I was there.

  21. bookworm says:

    Holy day obligations apparently can be determined by ecclesiastical “province” WITHIN the guidelines of the USCCB.

    I recall about 15, maybe 20 years ago, all the dioceses of the Chicago Province (Illinois) moved Ascension to the following Sunday. Currently the rule followed here is that Jan. 1 is one of the holy days for which the obligation is lifted if (and ONLY if) it falls on a Saturday or a Monday. Since Jan. 1 is a Friday, the obligation remains in place this year.

    I suspect the reason behind the Saturday-Monday rule was so that the faithful and pastors wouldn’t have to bother explaining or figuring out which Mass “counted” for which obligation. For example, if Saturday was a holy day, and you went to an anticipated Sunday Mass on Saturday afternoon or evening , did it count for the holy day? (My understanding was, it did, but you still had to go to Mass again on Sunday to fulfill THAT obligation.)

  22. jbalza007 says:

    The USCCB Committee on Divine Worship has the 2010 liturgical calendar available online, and does confirm Jan. 1 as a Holy Day of obligation:

    I’m going to mass nevertheless, whether it’s a Holy Day of Obligation or not. We all need the graces we can get for the 1st day of the Year!

  23. TomB says:

    This year we get a bonus too – it’s also First Friday, so don’t forget the indulgence.

  24. TomB says:

    (Of course, I meant this Liturgical Year, didn’t I?)

  25. bookworm says:

    Also — just curious — could the “permanent” removal of the Jan. 1 obligation in LA have some connection with the Rose Bowl festivities?

    I can see where getting to Mass would be kinda difficult for people who have to claim their parade viewing spots several days ahead of time, who spend all of New Year’s Eve and into the wee hours working on parade floats, marching in the parade, etc. Still, if that were the only concern I’d think it could be dealt with by a dispensation targeting ONLY persons domiciled in or visiting Pasadena on that day.

    Or could it be out of “consideration” for tourists visiting those areas? Methinks most people spending New Year’s Eve in Vegas aren’t going to be well disposed for attending Mass the next morning.

  26. eulogos says:

    In the east this is still celebrated as the Feast of the Circumcision, and also the Feast of St. Basil. There is one extra mass being said for it and Father said nothing about its being a day of obligation. I think that as I haven’t officially switched rites, I am still obliged, even if they are celebrating a different feast. I do also try to go to the important Eastern feasts and fast according to what is set down by the Eastern bishop, but I think I still officially have to keep the Western rules as well. Usually that is not very onerous!
    Susan Peterson

  27. Joshua08 says:

    Provinces do not have authority over holydays. Ascension Thursday is its own messed up thing legally, where the standard approved by Rome was to leave it up to provinces. But no such approval was given for authority over other days. As I said, they do this not by a law as by their power to dispense ad hoc, just that it is done every year. At least that is what I was told when I questioned it

  28. Tim Ferguson says:

    That statement from the website of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is a confusing mishmash of misinformation. There is no such animal as the “Province of California” – ecclesiastically, there is the Province of Los Angeles – including the Archdiocese of LA and the dioceses of Fresno, Monterey, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego; there is also the Province of San Francisco, including the Archdiocese of the same name and the dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton.

    Civilly, there is the State of California, and the Bishops’ Conference of the State has some authority, respecting the rights of the individual bishops over their Sees.

    Apparently, what happens is each year, the Bishops of California, acting in concert, grant a dispensation from the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. They can do so, but their reasoning is totally unclear to me.

  29. I look so forward to this Holy Day of obligation. Assumption Grotto has an annual 11:00pm vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Mother of God. Around the time the urbanites are signaling the stroke of midnight, we are at the Communion rail receiving the Body of Christ.

    Fr. Perrone makes it a point to lead us in the Holy Rosary and when it all ends, things have quieted down outside the Church – LOL.

    Then we go over to the school for pot-luck and champagne around 12:30am.

  30. Norah says:

    January 1 is not a Holy Day of Obligation in Australia. We only have two: The Assumption and Christmas Day

    2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

    I thought it was only mortal sins which had to be confessed at least once a year.

  31. xsosdid says:

    “rest from servile labor”…is that work (employment)only? cooking? cleaning? running errands? Most of what I do seems “servile” to a degree: tending to other’s needs (as a married, employed dad of 4).

    Do marraiges survive such behaviour?

  32. xsosdid says:

    oh, and it’s my impression that in Canada Jan 1 is indeed a holy day of obligation

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    Not only do people flock to Ash Wednesday masses, many think Ash Wednesday is a holy day.

  34. bernadette says:

    I’m not sure if it is a Holy Day of Obligation in the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Our bulletin said nothing about it other than there will be a Mass on Thursday eve and Friday morning. I plan to go, Holy Day or not.

  35. Geoffrey says:

    I’ve been trying to figure this out for a week now, and I am as confused as ever! It seems 1 January is not a holy day of obligation in the dioceses of California?

    The local parishes have very few Masses, whereas if it were a feast of precept, they would offer more, including a vigil Mass. No local parish bulletin has stated that it is not a holy day of obligation.

    So confused…

  36. momoften says:

    When the largest parish in our diocese only has one New Years EVE Mass and no New YEARS Day Mass, and the other churches in the area surrounding only have one or two Masses for this Holy Day of Obligation what does that say to the Catholic in this area? Unfortunately to me it says, if you feel like it here is a Mass just in case you feel it is important….grrrrrrr. Meanwhile a parish 1/4 the size has 4 Masses….hmmmmm what is wrong with this picture??????? (thank goodness I belong to the little parish, though I live a block away from the big one..)

  37. Girgadis says:

    Not only is Jan. 1st a Holy Day of Obligation but I know of at least two places where Catholics in Philadelphia can attend Midnight Mass. One is the Carmelite Monastery and the other is the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia. Both offer Adoration at 10pm. At St. Paul’s on Jan. 1st there will be NO Mass at 9am plus a low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Noon followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Getting around Center City/South Phila on New Year’s Day can be tricky because of the Mummer’s Parade (a tradition I’ll never understand so long as I live but that’s another story) so it’s a good thing that we have some choices of where and when we can go to Mass on New Year’s Eve.

  38. Girgadis says:

    Apparently, I didn’t proofread as well as I should have. That should have read “on Jan. 1st there will be a Novus Ordo Mass at 9am”.

  39. thecrazedorganist says:

    Just so everyone living in LA knows, Saint Victor’s in West Hollywood will be offering Mass at 7:45pm on December 31, even though January 1st is NOT a day of obligation in Los Angeles. Mass will also be offered in the afternoon on the 1st.

    There will also be a beautiful Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil (in honor of the Circumcision of Our Lord) on January 1 at the Russian Catholic parish of St. Andrews in El Segundo. Their liturgical schedule leading up to Theophany is quite packed, culminating with a festal divine liturgy and the Great Blessing of the Waters. I’d recommend Saint Andrews to anyone looking to check out Eastern Catholic life. They’re very welcoming and the church is beautiful.

    The Archdiocese of Los Angeles isn’t completely dead. You just have to hunt a bit for good liturgy and orthodox clergy.

  40. Gwen says:

    Does anyone know how this applies to a traveler? I’m vacationing in SW Colorado, Diocese of Pueblo, and I’ll attend Mass on 1 Jan in Grand Junction CO (at the start of a 16 hour driving day–but what a great start!). I live in the Diocese of Reno, where the bishop has dispensed the obligation for the holy day. Lucky me, I get to go to a Mass celebrating the Solemnity, which would not be available at home. But what are the church requirements–in my case, physically located where Mass for a holy day of obligation is offered, but a member of a parish which has been dispensed of the obligation? I’ve gotten some real confusing answers on this one.

  41. catholicmidwest says:

    I have a big problem with the way holy days are done. Don’t get me wrong–I like holy days themselves and like to go to those masses. I like the special-eventness of them. But they’re managed sooo badly in this diocese (and maybe elsewhere? I don’t know.)

    Parishes here don’t announce at the end of Sunday mass when there’s a holy day coming up before the next Sunday–I’ve almost never heard this in my 25 years as a Catholic, in fact. It’s like they don’t really take it serious, and don’t really think anyone else might either, so why embarrass people. If the holy day falls in the middle of the week, it’s pretty easy to guess what the mass schedule might look like, but if it’s on either end of the week, who knows? Here, we have a lot of holy days that get pushed into Sunday for some reason. Net result: holy day masses are very small here–it’s not part of “the life” here for many people. (The lack of music at most holy day masses, because musicians aren’t there, is actually a plus. “Music” quality is also generally very poor in this diocese.)

    Mass times for holy days don’t follow predictable patterns here either, even within single parishes. Sometimes they’re at 7PM, sometimes 6PM or 7:30PM, sometimes another time, even in the same parish (rather than always 7PM the night before for weekday observances or something like that). What’s up with this? Between parishes, they can also vary a lot. Sometimes times are chosen which are really unacceptable to a lot of people for business reasons too. A couple of years ago, for some reason, everywhere I called had their Dec 31st masses at 4PM. I work til 5PM most New Years Eves. 4PM is ridiculous, unless, ahem, some collection of people want to party later. I was really disgusted. I complained loudly, and I suspect some others did too, because they’re now later again, which is much better.

    Check the bulletin, you say? If you don’t grab a bulletin when you leave, because you already know there’s a holy day in the next week, there is no going back. The sidewalks are rolled up here when mass ends. Once you leave, you can’t get back in. If you don’t leave fast enough, they will urge you out–I kid you not. Churches are locked up about 90% of the time in this neck of the woods. The Catholic church is incredibly complacent and aloof here. There is simply nothing that goes on most of the time. Nothing. Lights off, doors locked, nobody around.

    We do have phone message machines, and they’re often the best way to find out when/where holy day masses are–if, of course, they keep their messages up to date. My geographical home parish kept their 2007 Christmas mass times up for nearly a year before they got around to changing them and that wasn’t much help. Heh. I ended up going to places that had better messages so I knew when to arrive.

    Also, anybody want to tell me why we have the holy days we have? It’s a mystery to everyone. Honest. Why not Corpus Christi? Why is Ascension Day, which ought to be VERY important on the church calendar pushed to Sunday? (Which means we don’t celebrate it as a holy day–come on, let’s be honest.) I have no clue. It’s a sad thing.

    So, I hold “growl” at arms length most holy days, simply because that’s not what a holy day is supposed to mean, but it’s a trial and it’s kind of crazy. It shouldn’t be this way.

  42. catholicmidwest says:

    Sometimes Catholics wonder how little old protestant congregations manage such impressive turnouts and physical plants with such small congregations. They work at it. They care.
    My own grandfather was a protestant minister, and although I’ll never be protestant again, I know how that works. Catholics have everything anyone could want–things my grandfather could only dream of–but they also have a BAD BAD CASE of INERTIA. You don’t win over souls and change the world if you can’t relay a simple message about a mass or get off your keester long enough to keep the doors open so people can show up. It’s just that simple. There is a reason other parts of the world have more converts than us.

  43. RichR says:

    I’ve wondered about HDoO’s that occur during the week: are we obliged to take vacation days from work? If you’re an employer, are you obliged to close shop? What about pay for your employees? They would say that they are being “penalized” if you close the office for a day and don’t pay them, but if you pay them then that’s not right either. You shouldn’t be expected to pay wages when no work is done.

    I wish I could get clear guidance on this.

  44. catholicmidwest says:

    I don’t know about in Wyoming, deep in the Appalachains, or someplace else really “Catholic-remote,” but many parishes have evening masses the night before a holy day. The trick is finding out when they are held. Try calling the parish. You’ll probably get an messaging machine but it will likely have an option for hearing the mass times. You might have to call a few places to find a mass that you can get to, but that wouldn’t be unusual. Good luck.

  45. catholicmidwest says:

    I inadvertently left out the other part. The “evening before” masses are equivalent to the holy day masses. The Church has them so that people can fulfil the requirement to go to mass on a holy day, even if they work and can’t go in the morning. You are correct that it would not be possible for many people to just take off from work to go to a morning mass.

  46. wolfeken says:

    For those who follow the 1962 calendar, 1 January is the Octave Day of Christmas, formerly (pre ’62) known as the feast of the Circumcision of our Lord. (11 October is the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the traditional calendar.)

    There are two plenary indulgences available under usual conditions this week — publicly saying/singing the Te Deum on 31 December and the Veni, Creator Spiritus on 1 January.

    TRIVIA TIME: This will probably require an old timer, as I’m looking for a real answer, not a guess. But, what was common on New Year’s Eve prior to Pius XII relaxing the midnight fast? Nearly everyone has a glass of Champagne at midnight, which would violate the fast. Did Catholics ignore the fast? Or did they not receive Communion on the Circumcision?

  47. ridiculusmus says:


    Speaking from experience, we used to use astronomical midnight, which
    could be up to an hour later then clocktime, so one could normally drink a toast at midnight. But I was in college, so we didn’t go for all-night parties.

  48. Oneros says:

    Of course, it is usually on THIS of all Holy Days that such “reminders” make their appearance. Because this is, in some ways, the least logical of them all.

    Catholics who go to Church on Sundays…generally do attend Assumption, All Saints, and Immaculate Conception…but this one…is definitely the forgotten one.

    It’s always been a Holy Day, but originally it was just as “The Octave of Christmas”. When the third council of Baltimore was choosing which Holy Days to make obligatory in the United States, they picked New Year’s Day, but under the title “Circumcision of Our Lord”.

    It is only since Vatican II that it has been obligatory because it is the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God”…a concept always attached to the day, but only the tertiary emphasis previously (though the existence of this “maternity” aspect to January 1…always made the “idea feast” instituted by Pius XI on October 11 a little redundant seeming to me.) Mary’s main feasts were always Annunciation and Assumption, Ladymas and Marymas. Immaculate Conception later also became important, obviously.

    But portraying this as the feast of Mary AS a Saint…is in some ways just as counter-intuitive as having a “Feast of Jesus Christ”, as the Blessed Virgin is more than a Saint, she is an eschatological figure who is really commemorated by events in her life, in a sort of Temporal cycle, not the Sanctoral.

    Anyway, my point is, this has always struck me as an odd choice for a Holy Day, with a very muddled history.

    Would that the US bishops kept EPIPHANY, and dropped this one! Then maybe early January wouldnt be “the forgotten Holy Day”.

  49. MaryW says:

    Not a Holy Day of Obligation in California, but I still plan to attend a 6PM TLM at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Oceanside on January 1st.

  50. Jack Hughes says:

    not a HDO in England but I still plan to attend the (somewhat strategically scheduled methinks) 11.59 am Mass

  51. Penguins Fan says:

    I wish the Latin Church would return to the Traditional Latin Mass calendar and be done with it.

    Ascension is another mess in how it is observed. In Pennsylvania, Ascension is observed on Thursday. Almost everywhere else in the US, it falls on the following Sunday.

  52. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Sacramento Diocese also does not hold to the Holy Day. St. Stephen the First Martyr, FSSP. on January 1, will hold the same schedule as on Sunday, Low Mass 8:30am, 1pm, High Mass 10:30am. In our Sunday Bulletin last, in nice bold letters, it is listed as a Holy Day of Obligation

  53. Melody says:

    Darn, I was told by my parish here in California that it was not a holy day of obligation, and made plans to visit a friend who lives in another county for the holiday. Since I can’t drive, there is now little chance I can make it to mass.

    In all honesty I have made it to mass on the 1st only a few times on the date. I’ve never realized it was a holy day of obligation.

    So will I have to go to Confession now?

  54. Margaret says:

    Melody– Jan. 1 is not a HDO for us Californians. It’s very sad though, and the parishes respond by scheduling perhaps one Mass to mark the day, usually at something like 9 or 10 AM. We normally ring in the New Years with the extended family, and while we’re not party animals, bedtime is generally not until at least 1:30 AM. We always pull it off, but it can be verrrry hard to get up in time for some of these “one Mass of the day” schedules… It’s bad enough that the obligation is lifted here, but then the schedules make it even more difficult for those who still with to mark the day.

  55. granitroc says:


    Better checkout the online Bulletin – January 1 is listed as a Holy Day. Apparently, the rest of the phrase “day of obligation” was literally blacked out on the online Bulletin. Also, I clearly heard Father say it was NOT a Holy Day of Obligation, which completely floored me. When did that happen?

  56. amdg123 says:

    Father is obliged to point out that it is not considered a day of obligation in this diocese. He did make it clear though that it is traditionally considered a day of obligation, and he exhorted us to attend Holy Mass.
    I’d also like to point out to everyone, that in our missal for the TLM it is the octive day of Christmas celebrating the circumcision of Our Lord. I wonder if today we are too afraid of the word “circumcision” and therefore the new feast day?

  57. Paul M says:

    Always interesting to see what a pastor sees as important. At our parish in Long Beach, CA the very 1st announcement the last 3 Sundays has been to make sure everyone knows that January 1st is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation (hard to recall anything in the past year given so much emphasis). In addition, our pastor has re-emphasized that announcement before the closing prayer. It appears that there have been lots of inquiries and Father just wants to make sure that people don’t come to Mass. Very odd. Even if it wasn’t a Holy Day, you would think the pastor would encourage people to get a great start to the new year by attending Mass.

  58. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Granitroc, as amdg123 said, Father is obligated to point it out. The online bulletin is seen by more than parishioners, so that is perhaps why it needed to be – more or less – abreviated. , to satisfy the diocesan stand? It still says “Holy Day.” Sigh! Why do things have to be so complicated????

  59. Nota bene:

    If you are adult practicing Catholics you yourselves are obliged to know what is going on in your dioceses. You should know your obligations.

    If questions were raised here about the local law in your place of residence all the better. Double-check what your obligation is.

    If you are confused about something, get on the phone and call your local diocesan chancery and ASK.

  60. Francisco Cojuanco says:

    Not a HDO, but Mater Dei will be celebrated as usual tomorrow.

  61. wanda says:

    HDO here in MD area, Archdiocese of Baltimore. Mass in the morning at 10:30 a.m.
    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

  62. pforrester says:

    I just checked the San Diego Diocese website and today is not a Holy Day of Obligation. The priest informed us all that this used to be a HDOO but now it is up to us to show our love for Mary without being obliged. He repeated this reminder that it was not a HDOO two more times. He is a retired priest and just filling in. He has a good heart but I was wondering where he was getting his info that Mary Mother of God was obliterated as a day of obligation. In San Diego, as inLA apparently we only have 4 day of obligation. This year two of those are dispensed, leaving Immaculate Conception and Christmas. Today is not a Sat or a Mon so why is it dispensed?

    I was also upset because, I had informed my daughter and she left a friend’s house at 8am in order to come to Church only to be informed by the priest that her mother was wrong.

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