While Catholics are normally obligated to attend Mass on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they are not required to do so this year because the Aug. 15 feast falls on a Saturday.
The feast of the Assumption is one of three holy days on which the obligation to attend Mass is lifted when it falls on a Saturday or Monday. The others are the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Jan. 1) and the feast of All Saints (Nov. 1).
Parishes will still celebrate Assumption-day Masses for those who are able to attend.
The holy day marks Mary’s assumption into heaven. According to Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops Web site, www.usccb.org, “This feast commemorates two events – the “falling asleep” (or “Dormitio”) of the Blessed Virgin at the end of her life, and her being taken up to heaven.”
In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith.
A 7:30 a.m. feast day Mass will be celebrated Aug. 15 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Baltimore.