Did you know that the Feast of Saint Joseph is a day of obligation for the entire Church?

Jasjot Singh

Every March 19 the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saint Joseph; but in addition to being a day to remember the patron saint of the universal Church, it is also a day of obligation throughout the Church, and that is how canon 1246 of the Code of Canon Law establishes it.

“The General Vicariate reminds all members of the diocesan Church of the obligation to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist that day, unless, for work reasons or other unavoidable circumstances, there is serious difficulty in complying with this precept”, indicates the Archdiocese of Madrid in a statement.

Indeed, canon 1246 of the Code of Canon Law states that “Sunday, in which the paschal mystery is celebrated, by apostolic tradition must be observed throughout the Church as a primordial feast of obligation. The days of Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary Mother of God, Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Saint Joseph, Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and, finally, All Saints must also be observed.

However, the same canon specifies in § 2, that “the Episcopal Conference, with the prior approval of the Apostolic See, may suppress or transfer to Sunday some of the holy days of obligation.”

Canon 1247 adds that “on Sunday and other holy days of obligation the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass; and they will also refrain from those jobs and activities that prevent worshiping God, enjoying the joy of the Lord’s day, or enjoying due rest of mind and body.

Canon 1248 then establishes that “the precept of participating in the Mass is fulfilled by those who attend it, wherever it is celebrated in a Catholic rite, both on the day of the feast and the day before in the afternoon.”

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