ASK FATHER: 1 Nov this year is on a Monday, so Mass is not obligatory. But do we still have to refrain from work? – UPDATE and CORRECTED

UPDATE: 2 Nov 2021

The official decree, not as it’s posted on the USCCB website, but in the book, has clearer wording.

When 1 January, 15 August, or 1 November fall on a Saturday or Monday,

“they will not be observed as holy days of obligation,”

The simple reading of this is that there is no obligation to refrain from “work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body.”

Also, pastors would not be obliged to offer a Missa pro populo on those days.

Sorry about the confusion.  I got it wrong, at first.

Originally Published on: Nov 1, 2021 

From a reader…


Regarding this coming Monday, and the U.S. Bishops’ decision that “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.”

Does this merely mean that one does not have the obligation to attend Holy Mass this coming Monday 01 NOV, or does the ‘abrogation of the precept to attend Mass’ also mean one does not have to rest from servile labor on that day?  I ask, as I am scheduled to work that day, and normally take such days off.

From the wording of the decree as it is posted on the USCCB website, the only abrogation is of the precept to attend Mass.  The obligation to abstain from servile labor is still in force.  [NB: The UPDATE above]

“Yeah, right!”, you will have already said.  “All anyone hears is that ‘since it’s on a Monday, it isn’t a holy day of obligation…’ or “If even bishops don’t think it’s serious to miss Mass anymore, why bother on Sundays?”

To which I might respond, were someone to say that, “You mean the bishops that locked up our churches?”

Don’t worry everyone, it’s a New Springtime! New Evangelization is blossoming! Everything in every way is getting better and better every day!  Traditionis custodes! Young families are being denigrated with accusations of divisivness!  We are building back better!

To the point:

All Saints’ Day is still a Holy Day, though attending Mass is not obligatory this year.  It is a Holy Day, but this year not of obligation for hearing Mass.

Holy Days are like Sundays, the Lord’s Day.

If people must work on a Sunday or on a Holy Day, then they should “devote themselves to prayers for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.”

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass. Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.


Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass. §2. If participation in the Eucharistic celebration becomes impossible because of the absence of a sacred minister or for another grave cause, it is strongly recommended that the faithful take part in a liturgy of the word if such a liturgy is celebrated in a parish church or other sacred place according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop or that they devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.

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  1. Gaby Carmel says:

    In the UK, when one of those feasts falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the feast is officially celebrated on the Sunday. So yesterday (31st) we celebrated All Saints Day in all the churches.

  2. IaninEngland says:

    Sorry, GC.
    I heard Mass today for All Saints and yesterday (Sunday), for Christ the King. Tomorrow (DV), Mass will be said for All Souls.

  3. ProfessorCover says:

    I think the FSSP priests celebrated the Feast of Jesus Christ King on this past Sunday.

  4. TRW says:

    Here in Canada, we have only 2 Holy Days of Obligation: Christmas and January 1st, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Pretty sad.

  5. JGavin says:

    I forgot we were dispensed because of Monday. I would have gone anyway. I am more outraged that there are only two Masses tomorrow at my Parish. Each priest has the faculty to say three Masses on 11/3. GET TO WORK! The infinite and inestimable graces obtained for the souls in Purgatory should drive with great zeal every priest in the Latin rite to celebrate three Masses tomorrow. If a congregation is there Great!
    If not say it anyway! I am sure there are angels more than willing to assist the celebrant and attend!

  6. dholwell says:

    Why then do Catholic universities treat this as a normal work and class day?

  7. Uniaux says:

    Interesting that the decree in the book doesn’t include December 8th. However, seeing that January 1st is going to fall on a Saturday, that probably means that it will be even more difficult to find a Mass then than it usually is on that day.

    I’ve never understood what makes Saturdays and Mondays so special that the obligation gets commuted. It merely seems like a method to downplay the importance of going to Mass.

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