2021 Holy Days of Obligation and Solemnities

The Catholic Church’s Liturgical Calendar is always changing. Lent and Easter shift year to year, Christmas falls on a different day of the week, and our Holy Days of Obligation change some years based on what day they land. (This year we’re looking at you, Assumption and All Saints Day!)

To help you keep track and plan ahead, here’s a list of our 2021 Holy Days of Obligation, Liturgical Seasons, and a fuller picture of special solemnities and celebrations for the year.

2021 Holy Days of Obligation:

Please remember: Sundays (including Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, etc.) are always obligatory.

  • Friday, January 1, 2021 – Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God
  • Thursday, May 13, 2021– Ascension of the Lord (celebrated on Thursday in some dioceses; in others it is transferred to Sunday, May 16, 2021)
  • Wednesday, December 8, 2021– Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Saturday, December 25, 2021– The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Is it one of your goals to grow in holiness this year? Branch out from the obligatory Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, and discover the richness and beauty contained the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. These holy days and solemnities are a great place to start! To ensure that you don’t forget these celebrations, put the dates on your calendar now and you’ll be prepared for the whole year!

Solemnities and Other Special Dates:

Friday, January 1, 2021 – Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God, Holy Day of Obligation
Sunday, January 3, 2021 – The Epiphany of the Lord, Solemnity
Sunday, January 10, 2021 – The Baptism of the Lord

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 – Ash Wednesday
It is a common misconception that Ash Wednesday is a Holy Day of Obligation. However, it’s a great way to start the Lenten season!

Friday, March 19, 2021 – Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Thursday, March 25, 2021 – The Annunciation of the Lord, Solemnity
Sunday, March 28, 2021 – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Thursday, April 1, 2021 – Holy Thursday
Friday, April 2, 2021 – Good Friday
Saturday, April 3, 2021 – Holy Saturday
Sunday, April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord, Solemnity
Sunday, April 11, 2021 – Divine Mercy Sunday

Thursday, May 13, 2021 – Ascension of the Lord, Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation in some dioceses)
In several ecclesiastical provinces, the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on Thursday. In other dioceses, the solemnity is celebrated on the following Sunday, May 16, 2021. Check with your local parish or diocese if you aren’t sure.
Sunday, May 23, 2021 – Pentecost Sunday, Solemnity
Sunday, May 30, 2021 – The Most Holy Trinity, Solemnity

Sunday, June 6, 2021 – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Solemnity (Corpus Christi)
Friday, June 11, 2021 – The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity
Thursday, June 24, 2021 – The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Solemnity
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 – Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles; Solemnity

Sunday, August 15, 2021 – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemnity
Normally a separate Holy Day of Obligation, but since the Assumption falls on a Sunday this year, your regular Sunday Mass will fulfill the obligation

Monday, November 1, 2021 – Solemnity of All Saints
Because it falls on a Monday, All Saints Day is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)
Sunday, November 21, 2021 – Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Christ the King)

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holy Day of Obligation
Saturday, December 25, 2021 – The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), Solemnity, Holy Day of Obligation

2021 Liturgical Seasons:

November 29, 2020 – January 10, 2021: Advent, Christmas
January 11, 2021 – February 16, 2021: Ordinary Time
February 17, 2021 – May 23, 2021: Lent, Triduum, Easter
May 24, 2021 – November 27, 2021: Ordinary Time
November 28, 2021 – January 9, 2022: Advent, Christmas

See 2020 Holy Days and Solemnities here.

Lindsey Kettner serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a wife, mother, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising. She writes daily at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.