Holy Days of Obligation
Holy days of obligation are normally associated with the Roman Catholic
faith tradition. All Roman Catholics are obligated to attend Mass on
Sundays and on the following days:
Octave of the Nativity (New Years Day)
The Ascension of Our Lord40 days after Easter
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin15 August
All Saints Day1 November
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception8 December
Upcoming holy days should be noted in the Sunday bulletin, chapel
bulletin board, and Plan of the Day.
SPECIAL SEASONS AND HOLIDAYS
Special significance is attached to the feasts of Christmas and Easter and
their associated seasons. Christmas and Easter are special days which are
universally celebrated by almost all Christians. Christmas is preceded by the
season of Advent and Easter is preceded by the season of Lent.
Within Christianity, Advent is a season of preparation observed for 4 to 6
weeks before Christmas. It was originally a period of penance and fasting
which prepared the Christian for the coming or Advent of Christmas.
Advent lasts 4 weeks, beginning the Sunday after November 26, or the
Sunday nearest St. Andrews Day, November 30.
In the Eastern Orthodox churches, Advent is also the first season of the
Church year but lasts 6 weeks, beginning November 11 (St. Martins Day).
Christmas, or the Feast of the Nativity, is a Christian celebration
commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Many people exchange gifts and decorate their homes with holly,
mistletoe, and Christmas trees. The custom of exchanging gifts was started in
memory of the gifts the shepherds and the wise men brought to the Christ
In the Western churches, Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ
and the shepherds visit and is generally celebrated on the 25th of December.
The adoration of the Infant Jesus by the Magi is remembered within the feast
of the Epiphany, celebrated on the 6th of January.