Holy & Feast Days
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass. When a holy day of obligation falls on a Monday or on a Saturday, the obligation to participate in the Eucharist is abrogated; in other words, although the day is still celebrated as a holy day, there is no obligation to attend Mass. The three holy days affected are: January 1, Mary Mother of God; August 15th, Assumption of Mary; and November 1, All Saints Day. The holy days which are never affected are Ascension Thursday, Immaculate Conception and Christmas.
Holy Days 2021
All Saints Day (November 1)
Immaculate Conception (December 8)
Christmas (December 25)
Ash Wednesday (February 17)
Palm Sunday (March 28)
Good Friday (April 2)
Easter (April 4)
Divine Mercy Sunday (April 11)
Ascension (May 13)
Pentecost (May 23)
Feast Days 2021
All Souls Day (November 2)
Christ the King (November 21)
First Sunday of Advent (November 28)
Mary, Mother of God (January 1)
Holy Thursday (April 1)
Holy Saturday (April 3)
Fasting Before Mass
To receive Holy Communion, one must be in a state of grace (free from mortal sin), have the right intention (deeper union with God), and observe the Communion fast, which is to abstain from all food and drink, except for water or medication, for one hour.
Lenten Regulations on Fast and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics between the ages of 18 to 60 years.
Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence of meat. The law of abstinence requires that no meat be eaten. All Catholics who have reached their fourteenth year are bound to abstain entirely from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
The law of fast limits the amount of food consumed to one full meal a day. Some food may be eaten at two separate times of the day but together they should not equal a full meal. No food may be eaten between meals. Catholics from the age of eighteen until the age of sixty must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Catholics are not to consider themselves lightly excused from the obligation to fast and/or abstain. However, Catholics who have a serious reason not to abstain or fast are not bound by the law. Although not required, they are encouraged to substitute another penitential practice, prayer, or work of charity.
If you have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before beginning a fast or abstaining from meat.
Precepts of the Catholic Church
from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2042-2043
You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor
You shall confess your sins at least once a year
You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter Season
You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church
You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church
The traditional precepts of the Church included two more:
Study Catholic teaching throughout life but particularly in preparation for Confirmation
Observe the marriage laws of the Church and provide religious training for one’s children