Friday, December 29, 2023


By Tim Rohr

For anyone still sweating over having to go to Mass this past Sunday Dec. 24 and Christmas Dec. 25 (two days in a row!) you can breath easy now that the Archdiocese of Agana has issued a statement "abrogating" Jan. 1 as a Holy Day of Obligation. 

The following was shared on the Facebook Page of the Umatuna:

Dec. 29, 2023
Message clarifying Holy Days
of Obligation and Solemnity
of Mary, the Holy Mother
of God on January 1, 2024


The joy of Jesus Christ, our Savior be with you all! The beautiful celebration of Jesus Christ and Christmas continue in our churches throughout the island. Many have asked if the upcoming commemoration of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God on Monday, January 1, 2024 is a Holy Day of Obligation.

To alleviate any confusion, our Apostolic Administrator, Father Romeo Convocar has asked the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission (ALC) to issue this clarification derived in part from Archdiocese of AgaƱa AVISO, Protocol No. 2023-53 issued on March 23 of 2023:

Per AOA Protocol No. 2023-053, because the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God falls on a Monday on this January 1, 2024, the Holy Day of Obligation is removed.

This is not to say that this beautiful Solemnity of Our Blessed Mother is not important. In fact, the Solemnity is still celebrated as we honor our dearest Mary, the Holy Mother of God. The Church always encourages the faithful to attend Mass whenever they can and to give honor to Mother Mary.

For those who prefer the more formal, precise language, here are the exact words of the March 23, 2023 AVISO, Protocol No. 2023-53:

NOTE: Whenever January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God; or August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption; or November 1, the Solemnity of All Saints; or March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the precept of the Holy Day of Obligation is abrogated. However, the proper of the Solemnity/Feast is still celebrated. In this context, “abrogated” means removed.

Joy to the World, Our Savior is Born,

/s/Father Paul Gofigan

Chairman, Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission


For context there is this at The Catholic Thing:

The Next Three January 1’s

January 1, 2022 was a Saturday.  January 1, 2023 is a Sunday.  January 1, 2024 is a Monday.

Only one of those January 1’s will be a holy day of obligation – 2023 – and that’s only because it falls on Sunday.

The mishmash is a result of the “Complementary Norm” adopted by the United States Catholic Conference back in 1991 which abrogated the obligation for the holy days of January 1, August 15, and November 1 if they fell on a Saturday or a Monday.


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