Holy Days of Obligation

Sundays and holy days of obligation are days on which the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass [… and 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 (Code of Canon Law, Canon 1247).

Holy days mark days in the liturgical year of special importance or that merit special celebration. Worldwide, there is some variation in the dates of celebration of holy days as local Church authorities acknowledge patron saints or allow the celebration of holy days that occur during the week on the nearest Sunday. In England and Wales, according to a 1984 decision of the Bishops’ Conference, holy days which fall on Saturday or Monday are in general transferred to the Sunday. From the first Sunday of Advent 2006 the feasts of The Epiphany of the Lord, The Ascension of the Lord and the Body and Blood of Christ have also routinely been transferred to the neighbouring Sunday.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Lectionary   (Sunday/Weekday) C/II A/I B/II C/I
First Sunday of Advent 29 November 2015 27 November 2016 3 December 2017 2 December 2018
Birth of the Lord 25 December 25 December 25 December 25 December
Epiphany 3 January 8 January 7 January 6 January
Ash Wednesday 10 February 1 March 14 February 6 March
Easter Sunday 27 March 16 April 1 April 21 April
Ascension 8 May 28 May 13 May 2 June
Pentecost 15 May 4 June 20 May 9 June
The Body and Blood of Christ 29 May 18 June 3 June 23 June
St Peter & St Paul 29 June 29 June 29 June 30 June
Assumption 14 August 15 August 15 August 15 August
All Saints 1 November 1 November 2 November 1 November
First Sunday of Advent 27 November 3 December 2 December 1 December