Q: I have a question from our Vicar General that I am not confident in the answer. One of our parishes named for the Assumption is celebrating 125 years this year and they want to move the Mass to Sunday the 13th so the whole community can gather and celebrate. I am pretty sure they can move it, but the question is about the obligation to attend Mass on the 15th. Does that get abrogated in this case or must they still attend Mass on the 15th? I presume it’s the latter, but this is an area of lit law that I am not so clear on. I hate to bother you, but I thought you’d have some insight on this since we’re all puzzled here.
A: The Universal Norms for the Calendar 58 gives permission to transfer the solemnity to a Sunday in Ordinary Time, but is silent about your question, which is canonical, not liturgical, so I’m not the best one to answer. Canon 1247 requires attendance at mass on Sundays and holydays. It seems to me that if the parish observes the solemnity on Sunday, which it may do, then it does not repeat the solemnity on Tuesday and the obligation that day no longer pertains. Canon 1245 allows a pastor to dispense from the obligation under certain circumstances. But he may not need to invoke that. That’s what my liturgical bones feel, but a canonist should weigh in.