Holy Days of Obligation

§1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation. The following days must also be observed: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, and All Saints.

§2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.

Canon 1246

The number of holy days of obligation was once much greater. With the motu proprio Supremi disciplinae of 2 July 1911, Pope Pius X reduced the number of such non-Sunday holy days from 36 to 8 (the above 10 minus the feasts of the Body and Blood of Christ and Saint Joseph). The present list was established in 1917.

Non-Sunday holy days of obligation all have the rank of solemnity. Accordingly, if in Ordinary Time one of them falls on a Sunday, the Sunday celebration gives way to it; but the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Eastertide take precedence over all solemnities, which are then transferred to another day.

The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference determined that, in addition to all the Sundays in the year, the only feast days to be observed in Australia as holy days of obligation are the solemnities of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Decree of Promulgation became effective on 16 September, 2001.

DECREE OF PROMULGATION
On 28 November 1996, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference made the following decree:

That 15 August (the solemnity of the Assumption) be a holy day of obligation in Australia, even when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday.
That decree was reviewed and confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship & Discipline of the Sacraments, by virtue of faculties granted it by Pope John Paul II, and by means of a recognitio (Prot. N: 366/97/L)

signed on 23 January 2001 by the Prefect, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, and the Secretary, Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino.

The decree effectively modifies the decrees of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference concerning holydays of obligation effective from 1985 and 1991 so that, in addition to all the Sundays of the year, the only feast days henceforth to be observed in Australia as holy days of obligation are the solemnities of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Moreover, these two holy days of obligation are to be observed annually, regardless of the day of the week on which they fall.

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