Catechetical Resources for Holy Days of Obligation
Holydays of Obligation are major feasts of the Church’s year on which – in addition to Sundays – Catholics are obliged to go to Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body (Code of Canon Law 1247).
Holy Days of Obligation in Ireland
- Immaculate Conception (8 December)
- Christmas Day (25 December)
- Epiphany (6 January )
- St Patrick (17 March)
- Assumption of Our Lady (15 August)
- All Saints (1 November)
The Episcopal Conference at its general meeting of March 2005 discussed the observance of Holydays of Obligation and the ethos of Catholic schools in Ireland today. It was agreed that Holydays of Obligation, which are days of special worship and celebration, are a valuable expression of the ethos of a Catholic school.
Should a Catholic school decide to open for the instruction of pupils on Church Holydays, the Bishops decided that the school community be encouraged to attend Mass within the school day where feasible. It was agreed that the opportunity should be availed of to provide good catechesis for the preparation and celebration of the feast.
In the school year 2013-2014, the Holydays of Obligation on which schools can open are:
- The Feast of the Epiphany, which will be celebrated on Monday, 6 January.
- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which will be transferred to Monday, 9 December, as 8 December is the Second Sunday in Advent.
Catechetical resources for primary schools related to each of these feast days are available below: