Reviewing the calendar rubrics

Reviewing the calendar rubrics

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Because the Immaculate Conception falls on a Saturday this year, you’ll likely get some questions asking if it is still a holy day of obligation. So it’s a good time to review the calendar rubrics around holy days.

The premier holy day of obligation is Sunday. In addition to this, the United States bishops have determined that the following are to be observed as holy days of obligation in the USA: January 1 (Mary, Mother of God); Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter (Ascension; transferred to Sunday in most U.S. dioceses); August 15 (Assumption); November 1 (All Saints); December 8 (Immaculate Conception); December 25 (Christmas).

Immaculate Conception is always a holy day of obligation even on a Saturday or Monday. Click To Tweet

For January 1, August 15, and November 1, the obligation to participate in Mass is removed if they fall on Saturday or Monday. December 8 is not included in this list because it is the patronal feast day of the United States. Patronal feasts for a parish, city, diocese, region, or country are observed as solemnities in that location. Therefore, Immaculate Conception is always a holy day of obligation even on a Saturday or Monday. If it falls on a Sunday (as it will in 2019), the observance is moved to Monday, December 9. However, the obligation to attend Mass is not moved, so Monday, December 9 is not a holy day of obligation.

This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
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Image credit: STIL, unsplash, CC0.

One Response

  1. Mary
    | Reply

    The Saturday vigil would be for Sunday – Yes?
    We have a Friday night vigil and Saturday Morning Immaculate celebrations.

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