|The Sanctifying Function of the Church » Sacred Places and Times » Sacred Times
|§1 Only the supreme ecclesiastical authority can establish, transfer or suppress holydays or days of penance which are applicable to the universal Church, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1246 §2.
§2 Diocesan Bishops can proclaim special holydays or days of penance for their own dioceses or territories, but only for individual occasions.
|Without prejudice to the right of diocesan Bishops as in can. 87, a parish priest, in individual cases, for a just reason and in accordance with the prescriptions of the diocesan Bishop, can give a dispensation from the obligation of observing a holyday or day of penance, or commute the obligation into some other pious works.
The Superior of a pontifical clerical religious institute or society of apostolic life has the same power in respect of his own subjects and of those who reside day and night in a house of the institute or society.
|The Sanctifying Function of the Church » Sacred Places and Times » Sacred Times » Feast days
|§1 The Lord’s Day, on which the paschal mystery is celebrated, is by apostolic tradition to be observed in the universal Church as the primary holyday of obligation. In the same way the following holydays are to be observed: the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the
Body and Blood of Christ, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate
Conception, her Assumption, the feast of St Joseph, the feast of the Apostles SS
Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints.
§2 However, the Episcopal Conference may, with the prior approval of the Apostolic
See, suppress certain holydays of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.
|On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body.
|§1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day.
§2 If it is impossible to assist at a eucharistic celebration, either because no sacred minister is available or for some other grave reason, the faithful are strongly recommended to take part in a liturgy of the Word, if there be such in the parish church or some other sacred place, which is celebrated in accordance with the provisions laid down by the diocesan Bishop; or to spend an appropriate time in prayer, whether personally or as a family or, as occasion presents, in a group of families.
|The Sanctifying Function of the Church » Sacred Places and Times » Sacred Times » Days of penance
|All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
|The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
|Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the
Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good
|The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
|The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
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