Holydays of Obligation

With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See. The days are:

  • The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)
  • The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter

The Holydays of Obligation for England and Wales are therefore:

  • According to a decision of the Bishops’ Conference (1984) Holydays which fall on Saturday or Monday are transferred to the Sunday.

The Bishops decided to retain the decision made in 2006 for the Body and Blood of the Lord to be transferred to Sunday as it allowed for Eucharistic Processions and other devotional practices to be celebrated.

For further information:

Commemorating the First World War

PoppiresAt the Easter meeting 2014 of the Bishops’ Conference the following resolution was agreed:

To mark the centenary of the First World War and remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict, the bishops of England and Wales encourage the Catholic community to participate in local civic or ecumenical celebrations.

The bishops will celebrate Requiem Masses in their Cathedrals on or near the six key dates which have been identified as part of the anniversary celebrations.

  • Monday 4th August 2014 — the centenary of entry of the British Empire to the War
  • Saturday 25th April 2015 — the Gallipoli campaign
  • Tuesday 31st May/ Wednesday 1st June 2016 — the Battle of Jutland commemorating the war at sea
  • Friday 1st July 2016 — the Battle of the Somme
  • Monday 31st July 2017 — the start of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
  • Sunday 11th November 2018 — Armistice Day

Catholic parishes are asked to mark these important anniversaries on the nearest Sunday by offering Mass for all those who died and to pray in the intercessions for those currently serving in the armed forces, and for peace.

The Joint Liturgical Group of Great Britain has information about how the centenary is being marked in Wales and Scotland, a selection of Collect prayers and links to other resources.

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