In the Catholic faith, there are six holy days of obligation throughout the year and of course, Sundays are also days of obligation. A holy day of obligation means you must attend mass on these days.
Solemnity of Mother Mary
January 1, 2013, a Tuesday, is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This is a day to honor Mary and her role in Jesus’ life. Catholics are reminded of Mary’s yes to God. How she gave herself to him and how believers can try to do the same.
The Ascension of the Lord is this year transferred from Thursday, May 9, 2013, to Sunday, May 12, 2013, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This day is supposed to be 40 days after Easter. This is when Jesus ascended into heaven.
Thursday, August 15, 2013, is the Assumption of Mary. This is the day Mary died and was taken to heaven. According to Scott P. Richert, the Catholicism About.com guide, “Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts. . ..”
All Saint’s Day is Friday, November 1, 2013. This is the day to honor all the saints, named and unnamed. The next day, while not a day of obligation, is All Souls’ Day, when Catholics honor their loved ones and all the souls who have passed.
Sunday, December 8, 2013, is the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Many people are confused by this day and think it’s Jesus’ conception but it’s actually Mary’s. This year, it falls on a Sunday when you’d be going to Mass anyway.
Christmas falls on Wednesday, December 25, 2013, this year. Of course, this is the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. If you attend Christmas Eve Mass after 5 pm, you’ve fulfilled your obligation for Christmas. Think of when you go to Mass on Saturday night instead of Sunday and you’ll get the idea.
Holy Week and Ash Wednesday and all the Holy Week Masses.
Easter and Palm Sunday are, of course, days of obligation as they are on Sundays, but Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday are not holy days of obligation, but it’s always a good way to strengthen your faith by going to all the masses offered during Holy Week.
Holydays, or any days you go to Mass, are good for your faith and help you grow in your relationship with Jesus. Mass is a time to pray and feel the real presence of Jesus with the entire parish.