This Friday, November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, is a Holy Day of Obligation! If you haven’t already made provision for how you will attend Mass for the Holy Day, it’s time to plan now!
(In fact, you may still have time to put in for a vacation or comp day so you can also observe it as a day or rest…)
Many churches, of course, will have a Vigil Mass also on Thursday (Halloween). Many parishes offer a special schedule on Holy Days to accommodate folks’ work schedules – frequently there is an early-morning or later-in-the-evening Mass. Whatever the case may be in your parish, it would be wise to give them a call or consult last weekend’s bulletin and find out what your options are. And if there is not a reasonably convenient time there, perhaps you need to go to another area parish.
Given that this liturgical solemnity falls on a Friday this year, it means that the precept of abstaining from meat (or doing some other penance) is suspended. So eat all the prime rib you want on this Friday (always in moderation), and wash it down with a nice glass of wine! I’m hoping for a good meal here that day…
In some places there is a tendency to try to make holy days more appealing (or something), by calling them “Holy Days of Opportunity”. Yes, that’s true, but there is also an obligation, so let’s not miss that important point. There are not many of these days each year; the Church really expects very little of us in this regard – especially in comparison with previous ages, when there were many more Holy Days on the calendar.
The Holy Days are grouped a bit around this time of the year: All Saints, Christmas, Mary Mother of God (January 1), and with everything else going on it can seem a bit “much” perhaps, but we need to keep our priorities straight and put God first. This is a very holy time of the year, but it has also become a very materialistic and commercialized time of the year. The Holy Days help us to keep focused on what is truly important.