Mass Obligation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I have a couple of questions that are liturgical in nature. I was looking at my calendar, and I am making sure of a couple of things.

First, I noticed that August 15 falls on a Monday, this year. Since August 15 lands on a Monday, this year, the Assumption would not be an obligatory Holy Day. Is that correct, or would it retain its obligatory status? I suppose that I don’t recall which Holy Days of Obligation have their obligations to attend Mass lifted, in the event that the day falls on a Saturday or on a Monday.

Another thing that I saw was that both December 25, 2022, as well as January 1, 2023 (a week later), fall on a Sunday. Since December 25, 2022, and January 1, 2023, both land on a Sunday, would the faithful be obligated to attend two Masses, for each of those weekends (i.e., on the weekend of December 24/25, attend two separate Masses, and then, on the weekend of December 31/January 1, attend two separate Masses) (i.e., one Mass to fulfill the obligation for the Holy Day, and then another Mass to fulfill the Sunday obligation), or would it be sufficient to attend just one Mass, for each of those weekends? I suppose what throws me off is that the Holy Days (i.e., Christmas and Mary, Mother of God), themselves, fall on Sundays.

On a completely separate note, my last question is this: If one attends the Easter Vigil Mass, then have they fulfilled the obligation to attend Mass for Easter, or would they have to attend a Mass on Easter Sunday, itself, in order to fulfill this obligation? I’ve heard some people say that it does fulfill the obligation, and I’ve also heard some other people say that it doesn’t fulfill the obligation, so I would like to know who is correct, in this case.

Please respond at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time.


A: Monday, August 15, will be observed as the solemnity of the Assumption throughout the United States, but there is no obligation to attend Mass this year because it falls on a Monday.

December 25 and January 1 this year will be observed on Sundays as you note, and the faithful are expected to attend one Mass each day.

The Easter Vigil is the first Mass of Easter, so it does fulfill one’s obligation