Holy Days

The end of the year (and decade) is approaching, and if you’re like me, you like to plan ahead—especially when it comes to major liturgical feasts that change dates year-to-year (Easter, anyone?)! To help you keep track of everything coming up in the 2020 calendar year, I’ve compiled a list of the Holy Days of Obligation for the year, as well as solemnities and some other special celebrations within the Church’s calendar. This list is not exhaustive—you can visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website for the full liturgical calendar. Holy Days of Obligation are marked below, but remember, Sundays are always obligatory!

2020 Holy Days of Obligation: Sundays (including Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, etc.) are always obligatory.

  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020– Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God
  • Thursday, May 21, 2020– Ascension of the Lord (celebrated on Thursday in some dioceses; in others it is transferred to Sunday, May 24, 2020)
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020– Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Friday, December 25, 2020– The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Is it one of your goals to grow in holiness this year? Branch out from the obligatory Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, and discover the richness and beauty contained the Church’s liturgical calendar. These holy days and solemnities are a great place to start! To ensure that you don’t forget these celebrations, put the dates on your calendar now and you’ll be prepared for the whole year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 – Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God, Holy Day of Obligation
Sunday, January 5, 2020 – Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Sunday, January 12, 2020 – The Baptism of the Lord

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – Ash Wednesday
It is a common misconception that Ash Wednesday is a Holy Day of Obligation. However, it’s a great way to start the Lenten season!

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Thursday, April 9, 2020 – Holy Thursday
Friday, April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
Saturday, April 11, 2020 – Holy Saturday
Sunday, April 12, 2020 – Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
Sunday, April 19, 2020 – Divine Mercy Sunday

Thursday, May 21, 2020 – Ascension of the Lord (Holy Day of Obligation in Diocese of Scranton)
In several ecclesiastical provinces, the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on Thursday. In other dioceses, the solemnity is celebrated on the following Sunday, May 24, 2020. Check with your local parish or diocese if you aren’t sure.

Sunday, May 31, 2020 – Pentecost

Sunday, June 7, 2020 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Sunday, June 14, 2020 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
Friday, June 19, 2020 – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 – Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Monday, June 29, 2020 – Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Saturday, August 15, 2020 – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Because it falls on a Saturday, the Assumption is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year

 Sunday, November 1, 2020 – Solemnity of All Saints
Normally a separate Holy Day of Obligation, but since All Saints Day falls on a Sunday this year, your regular Sunday Mass will fulfill the obligation
Monday, November 2, 2020 – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)
Sunday, November 22, 2020 – Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Christ the King)

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holy Day of Obligation
Friday, December 25, 2020 – The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), Holy Day of Obligation


2020 Liturgical Seasons:
December 1, 2019 – January 12, 2020: Advent, Christmas
January 13 – February 25, 2020: Ordinary Time
February 26 – May 31, 2020: Lent, Triduum, Easter
June 1 – November 28, 2020: Ordinary Time
November 29, 2020 – January 10, 2021: Advent, Christmas