Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

The transfer of feast days

As each Easter Sunday arrives, commemoration of the Ascension of Christ into heaven looms. In both the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed, the Ascension of Jesus is mentioned in close proximity to profession in the Lord’s resurrection.

Traditionally it is believed that Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after the resurrection. St. Luke’s Gospel says that the ascension took place Easter Sunday night, but in the Acts of the Apostles a 40-day period is mentioned.

For centuries, the Ascension of Our Lord was celebrated on the Thursday which occurred 40 days after Easter Sunday. Days such as Corpus Christi were equally fixed to days of the week after the celebration of a major feast. Corpus Christi was always celebrated on a Thursday since it was on that day of the week that Christ instituted the sacrament of His Body and Blood.

Given the demands of modern life and the ability of believers to make more than one holy day Mass in a single week, the reformed Liturgy’s guidelines suggested national collections of bishops determine the suitability of transferring to Sunday certain feasts integral to the faith.

Today, for instance, only six of the 32 ecclesiastical provinces, or small collection of dioceses under one archbishop, retain Ascension on Thursday. Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia, and the dioceses under each of their respective archbishops, observe Ascension on Thursday. All other archdioceses and the dioceses transfer Ascension to the following Sunday.

What follows is a list of the days on which Mass attendance is obligatory in the Diocese of Charleston, in addition to all Sundays.

  • Jan. 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
  • The Ascension of the Lord — Ascension Thursday is perpetually transferred to the following Sunday in the Diocese of Charleston.
  • Aug. 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Nov. 1, the solemnity of All Saints.
  • Dec. 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Dec. 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whenever the Jan. 1, Aug. 15 and Nov. 1 holy day observances fall on a Monday or a Saturday, the obligation is removed entirely and Mass attendance is a pious practice.

Unless transferred to another date, Dec. 8 (occasionally transferred) and Dec. 25 (never transferred) are always holy days of obligation, no matter on what day of the week they fall.

In addition to all Sundays, Jan. 1, Aug. 15, and Nov. 1 are always holy days of obligation unless they fall on a Saturday or a Monday, or are transferred to another date.

In the Province of Atlanta, if a solemnity or feast is perpetually transferred to a Sunday (like Epiphany, the Ascension, and Corpus Christi) then they are presumed obligatory since they will be observed on the following Lord’s Day, each annual 52 of which are all holy days of obligation.

Mysterious? Yes! So is the full meaning of Christ!




  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Dec 174:00 pm Volunteer Christmas Party - Diocesan Center - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Dec 18 Exams for periods 3 and 4
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Sock Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    Christmas Holidays - School Closed
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Anderson
    No school - holiday
    From the Calendar of St. Mary Help of Christians Aiken
    11 am Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics at St. Ann Church
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    12:00 pm Bishop to say Mass at the Cathedral - Charleston
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    2:00 pm Gr. K3-3rd Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    Dec 19 Exam for period 5
    From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
    Christmas Breaks BeginsNoon Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Peter School Beaufort
    Crazy Christmas Sweater Day
    From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Francis Catholic School
    End of 2nd Quarter
    From the Calendar of St. Anne and St. Jude Catholic School
    Christmas Break
    From the Calendar of St. Anthony School Florence
    Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Andrew School Myrtle Beach
    10:00 am day-Christmas party
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    11:30 am Early Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
    6:00 pm Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
    7:00 pm Gr. 4-8th Christmas Program
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville