Holy Days of Obligation are special days that we, as Catholics come to Mass to celebrate special events of our faith. These are opportunities for us to pause, reflect and celebrate the liturgy as a means of thanking God for his goodness. These days are some of the most important days of year for us as Catholics as they honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary and the saints, which is why we are called to celebrate by attending Mass.
The bishops in each country have the ability to determine which days bind Catholics to attend Mass. Bishops, in the United States, have determined that these six days are important enough to call all Catholics in the United States to worship at Mass as described in the Code of Cannon Law (church law) 1246.
The following is a list of Holy days:
January 1—Mary, Mother of God
Fortieth day after Easter—Ascension
August 15—Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1—All Saints
December 8—Immaculate Conception
December 25—Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
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Knowing about special days during the church year helps us to deepen our faith.
What special days do you celebrate as a family?
What special traditions do you have for your family celebrations?
Do you know what we celebrate on each of the holy days?
If you would like, draw a picture of your family at church celebrating one of these feast days or at home celebrating a special day for your family.
Is there a special way that you can celebrate these Holy Days together in addition to going to Mass? Maybe learn about a special saint on All Saints Day, pray the rosary on the Solemnity of Mary, January 1st or the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.