Catholics: What say you about Holy Days of Obligation?

In America there are five non-Sunday Holy Days of Obligation:

  1. Immaculate Conception of Mary (December 8)

  2. Solemnity of Mary (January 1)

  3. Assumption of Mary into heaven (August 15)

  4. All Saints Day (November 1)

  5. Christmas (December 25)

  6. (Ascension Thursday – moved to Sunday observance when most stopped attending on Thursday)

In 1969 Mary was given her third holy day, replacing the bestowing of the name of Jesus (and his dedication to God) with the “Solemnity of Mary.” Other than Christmas, I say do away with all non Sunday days of obligation. (And this from someone who often attends daily Mass.) Do we really need to be “obligated” on Mary’s days? Note, there are ten more weekdays days we commemorate Mary during our liturgical year that are not obligations.

For those of us who are non-Catholic, can you give a brief rundown on what Holy Days of Obligation are? I am sure I can find a site or two on it, but it would be nice to hear a Catholic perspective on it.

On these days, attendance at Mass is required. Other than at Christmas (where we had seven masses this year which were packed) only two Masses were offered today with the church maybe holding two thirds the number of a Sunday Mass. In other words, most Catholics ignore the obligation to attend Mass (with Christmas the exception).

My brother and his Catholic wife were our guests over Christmas. She attended a Mass at a local diocese in our county, as well as one on Sunday while they were here. I don’t know if she observes other days.

I agree- however, I still think we should honor Mary, just like any saint. She was a pious woman and took on a great task to carry Jesus. Other sects don’t really recognize Mary as Catholics do, so we should still honor her at Mass, and maybe one day dedicated to her. But not three.

A lot of Catholics are what my parish calls “Cafeteria Catholics.” Those who attend Mass only on Christmas and Easter.

Which reminds me…I go to chapel twice a week and then there’s revival each semester where you go to chapel multiple times a day, two to three days in a row. Is this a substitute for going to Mass, although not a Catholic service?

Those are affectionately knows as “Cheasters” in some parishes. I have also heard the term “CAPE Catholics”. (Christmas, Ash Wednesday (which is NOT a Holy Day of obligation), Palm Sunday and Easter.)

Catholics who find attendance at mass to be an obligation are totally missing the point.

With the full understanding of what mass really is, attendance becomes a “get-to-do” activity, not a “got-to-do”.

Why not wait until God officially sends the word?

Precisely. Which is why I object to being “obligated”. When the Church feels it must “obligate” people to attend Mass, it is the Church that may be missing the point. As someone already pointed out, no one is “obligated” to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday or Holy Thursday or attend services on Good Friday. People just do–and more attend those days than the days they are “obligated” to Mary.

And actually there are thirteen days in the liturgical year that are specifically dedicated to Mary–and I agree we should honor her at every Mass–which we do. Ten days of special honor are good as well. I object to the three additional days of “obligated” honor.

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I wouldn’t no for sure, but it is my understanding there is no substitute for Mass. Of course, there are services and devotions in addition to Mass, but no substitute as far as I am aware.

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:slight_smile: The spirit of the Lord is upon His people, and His people felt that these days needed to be commemorated. There is an entire history, a hard and heart-felt battle you might say to have these traits recognized by the entire Church. Nowadays they are all taken as a matter of course. Keep in mind, I would be much happier in Church on these days of “obligation” if they were not obligated.

There is no substitute for going to mass if you are a Catholic. There is no substitute either as a matter of catechetical obligation, or as a Sacramental substitute.

In fact, even an actual daily mass is not a substitute for Sunday mass.

One reason is that the Liturgy of the Word for Sundays is carefully scheduled to provide the congregant with a complete array of scriptural readings in a certain progression of order throughout the year. Even attending a wedding mass on a Sunday (unless it was done as part of an official Sunday mass as defined by the Common Lectionary) would not satisfy your Sunday obligation.

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You probably know as well as anyone that just about everything the Church does as a part of religious practice has a purpose – from details like proper placement of candles to things as major as declaring a Holy Day of Obligation.

St. Paul talks about the “obedience of faith” in several places. In part it means deferring to authority on matters of faith and morals when the individual would rather not follow those tenets.

Holy Days are designed to remind Catholics of major tenets and/or elements of Catholic faith. I suppose you could argue that making them obligatory is an attempt to help a faithful Catholic to remain mindful of those components of his chosen faith.

Sounds like people are making this up rather than God.

Does skipping obligation send one straight to hell?

Or, God’s people reflecting the truth.

Why are you even here in this thread except to disrupt and troll?

You don’t give a crap about anything you pretend to ask.

Sure I do.