REMINDER: Ascension THURSDAY – usually Holy Day of Obligation

It ought to be clear to everyone that THURSDAY 13 May is the Ascension of the Lord.  THURSDAY is Ascension… not Sunday.  There really is no such thing as Ascension Thursday Sunday.  It ought to be either Sunday after Ascension (TLM) or 7th Sunday of Easter (NO).

In many places, diocesan bishops are ending their dispensations from Sunday and Holy Day Mass participation.   In other words, in most places people were not obliged to attend Mass on Sundays, etc., because of the CCP Virus which has resulted in ongoing COVID Theater.   Bishops here and there are ending that dispensation.  That means that, where you are, you may be once again obliged to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

Ascension Thursday is – in normal circumstances – a Holy Day of Obligation.   All Sundays are Holy Days of Obligation.

You should check in your local diocese to see what the dispensation situation is.  Has the obligation been restored?   Find out.


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  1. Gregg the Obscure says:

    in case any other readers are in Archdiocese of Denver and not yet aware, the dispensation from obligation expires on May 22. Pentecost on May 23 will be the first binding day of precept in a bit over 14 months.

  2. iamlucky13 says:

    Thank you for the reminder. Since I have been able to attend Mass, I have not been paying attention to the status of our dispensation, and now I realize, I do not know a central location to find out the status.

    If anyone from the Archdiocese of Seattle knows, please share here. I can’t find a statement on their website about dispensations at all.

    Our parish bulletin also doesn’t indicate whether the general dispensation previously issued is still in effect.

  3. Discipula says:

    In Kalamazoo, Michigan, St. Mary’s on Charlotte is having the TLM on Ascension Thursday, one at 7:30am (Low Mass), and one at 7:00pm (High Mass).

    Our bishop is also dispensing with the dispensation, I believe on Pentecost. There will be an announcement made next Sunday with more details. Hopefully he will also ease up on some of the occupancy limits as the parishes I’ve attended during this odd period have been full to the limited capacity.

  4. Discipula says:

    @iamlucky13 Our pastor uses Flocknote to keep the parish informed of things. You can try using their parish finder tool on to see if any parish near you uses it. I know the Archdiocese of Seatle has an account. You will have to sign up in order to see the messages.

  5. stillsearching says:

    @Discipula: Up here at the very tip of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The dispensation remains at our parish, so I would presume for the Archdiocese as a whole. We are still full to allowed capacity at all masses and Father is still streaming the 8am Sunday :) Additionally, as you know, the counties in WA keep floating between Phases 2 and 3 of the Governor’s Safe Start recovery plan, and in Phase 2 you can only have 25% capacity in churches whereas in Phase 3 you get 50% capacity… so this is just going to teeter-totter until someday when we all get to Phase 4.

  6. stillsearching says:

    Sorry, that was meant for @iamlucky13 !

  7. Adelle Cecilia says:

    I have been told that our EF Mass this Sunday will be that of the Ascension.

    “Next weekend is the transferred celebration of the Ascension of the Lord in our diocese and we’ll be doing the Ascension Thursday propers for the Ordinary form and Extraordinary form.”

    So, if the diocese transfers the OF to Sunday, does the EF automatically go with it?

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  9. JPCahill says:

    The last I heard the Ordinariate in North America has rescinded the dispensation except for the elderly and those with otherwise compromising conditions.

    Like one of your other commenters, I confess that I was so happy to get back to Mass that I really haven’t followed the trail of the dispensations very closely.

    And, yes, for Ordinariate members in North America Ascension Thursday comes on a Thursday.

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