While some city-goers are marking their calendars for Halloween, others are keeping their eyes on an often-ignored holiday that follows hot on its heels: All Saint’s Day. That also means all of you curious Catholics out there who are religious but don’t grace the pews every Sunday might be wondering, is All Saint’s Day a holy day of obligation?
Wait, what is a holy day of obligation?
If you’re just curious or, you know, don’t remember everything they told you in those Catechism classes way back in your childhood, a holy day of obligation is simply a day on which the faithful are supposed to attend Mass.
That’s straight-forward enough, right? But it gets a little complicated from there. And, no, that doesn’t mean these are the only days on which Catholics are required to attend Mass. Remember, there are also those regular days of obligation, like Sundays. All Sundays.
Some of the holy days of obligation can be transferred to another day, like the nearest Sunday. Sometimes, though, this isn’t possible, and devout Catholics who hold down full-time jobs are presented with a bit of a problem. Holy days also require the faithful to "to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God," a task not so easy if you’re expected to punch the clock. Though mostly working Catholics are excused from fulfilling this day of rest requirement, they’re still expected to attend Mass despite normal working hours.
The number of holy days of obligation change from year to year because the requirement to attend Mass is abrogated (lifted) if three of the days (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Solemnity of All Saints) happen to fall on a Sunday or a Monday.
What are the holy days of obligation 2017?
There are six days of obligation recognized in the United States:
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Sunday, January 1 2017
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Solemnity of All Saints (All Saints' Day)
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Friday, December 8, 2017
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Monday, December 25, 2017
Is All Saint’s Day a holy day of obligation?
Yes, All Saint’s Day is a holy day of obligation. All Saint’s Day 2017 also does not fall on a Sunday or a Monday, meaning the obligation to attend Mass is not lifted.