Holy Days of Obligation

Click here to view "The Year of Grace 2021 - Guide to the Liturgical Year"


*** Please note that the current dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass, due to COVID-19, applies to Sunday Masses as well as to Holy Days of Obligation (e.g., the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception). ***


Holy Days of Obligation with Special Seasons and Feasts

  2021 2022
Day Holy Days of 
Seasons and 
Holy Days of 
Seasons and 
The Resurrection of Our Lord
Sundays   Sundays   
Mary, Mother of God
Our Lady's divine maternity 
January 1 [1]
January 1 [1]
Our Lord's manifestation to the world through the visit of the magi  
January 3
January 2
Baptism of the Lord
Close of the Christmas Season
January 10
January 9
Ash Wednesday +
Beginning of Lent which lasts until the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday night  
  February 17   March 2
Passion/Palm Sunday
The Lord's entrance into Jerusalem and His betrayal. Begins Holy Week. 
March 28   April 10  
Holy Thursday
Mass of the Lord's Supper 
  April 1   April 14
Good Friday
The Lord's Passion 
  April 2   April 15
Holy Saturday
The Great Easter Vigil*
  April 3 [2]   April 16 []
Easter Sunday
The Lord's Resurrection and Appearance. Begins the 50 Days of Easter
April 4   April 17  
Ascension of Christ
The Ascension of Our Lord 
May 16
May 29
The Gift of the Holy Spirit. Closes the Easter Season.
May 23
June 5
Body and Blood of Christ
(Corpus Christi)
Our Lord's Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament  
June 6
June 19
Assumption of Mary Into Heaven 
August 15 [1]
August 15 [1]
All Saints
Celebration of those God has brought into heaven and how they model Christ to us 
November 1 [1]
November 1 [1]
Christ the King
Final Sunday of Church Year 
November 21
November 20
1st Sunday of Advent
1st Sunday of Church Year and beginning of four-week preparation for Christmas
November 28
November 27
Immaculate Conception
The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Patronal Feast of the United States 
December 8
December 8 [3]
The Birth of Our Lord 
December 25
December 25
Christmas Season
Christmas through Baptism of the Lord 
December 25, 2021 - January 9, 2022 December 25, 2022 - January 9, 2023

[1] At their November 1991 meeting, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops decided that whenever January 1, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God or August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin or November 1, the Feast of All Saints falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the precept to celebrate Mass is dispensed. The Congregation for Bishops confirmed the action on July 4, 1992.

Although the obligation to celebrate Mass when these three holy days fall on a Saturday or Monday is abolished, parishes are to continue to observe these holy days by scheduling one or more Masses at a convenient time so that people who wish to participate are able to do so.

+ Lenten Days of Fast, Abstinence, and Penance

All Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence

Abstinence means not eating meat. All persons 14 years and older are bound by the law of abstinence.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are Days of both Fast and Abstinence

Fasting allows one full meal, but a light breakfast and lunch are not forbidden. All adults, 18 up to the beginning of their sixtieth (60) year, are bound by the law of fasting. Pastors and parents are to see to it that children, while not bound to the law of fast and abstinence, are educated and introduced to an authentic sense of penance.

On Fridays, when abstinence is not required by law, acts of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety are suggested. Abstinence from meat is especially recommended but under no obligation by law.

[2]The Easter Vigil, during the holy night when Christ rose from the dead, ranks as the "mother of all vigils."11 Keeping watch, the Church awaits Christ's resurrection and celebrates it in the sacraments. Accordingly, the entire celebration of this vigil should take place at night, that is, it should either begin after nightfall or end before the dawn of Sunday (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 21). Easter Vigil should not begin before 8:30 pm CDT.

[3] The obligation to attend Mass is abrogated when the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is transferred to December 9.