Holy Days of Obligation






Holy days of obligation are days on which the faithful are expected to attend Mass, and engage in rest from work and recreation, according to the Third Commandment.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11

Arlington Diocese Schedule for 2021

Holy Days of Obligation

Because of their special importance for unfolding the Paschal Mystery, certain days of the Liturgical Year are prescribed as Holy Days of Obligation. On these days, Roman Catholics are obligated to attend Mass. For Dioceses of the United States of America, the following are Holy Days of Obligation:

  •  Sundays
  •  January 1, Mary, the Holy Mother of God*
  •  Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
  •  The Ascension of the Lord**
  •  August 15, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary*
  •  November 1, Solemnity of All Saints*
  •  December 8, The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  •  December 25, The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

* In the United States of America, when the solemnities of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (January 1), the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15), or All Saints (November 1) falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass does not apply.