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When Is Immaculate Conception 2013?

Find the details of this important Marian feast


Virgin Mary With Ss. Joachim and Anna, St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing, MI. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Stained-glass window of The Blessed Virgin Mary as a Baby With Saints Joachim and Anna, in Saint Mary Cathedral, Lansing, Michigan.

(Photo © Scott P. Richert)
The Immaculate Conception, Most Blessed Sacrament Shrine, Hanceville, AL. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared at Lourdes, France, in 1858, where she announced, "I am the Immaculate Conception." Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama.

(Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Question: When Is Immaculate Conception 2013?

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the saving work of God in preserving the Blessed Virgin Mary from the stain of original sin. Because of His foreknowledge that Mary would consent to bear Christ, God kept Mary free from original sin from the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. (See Who Was Born Without Original Sin? for more details.) What is the date of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2013?

Answer: Immaculate Conception would normally fall on Sunday, December 8, 2013. However, since that is the Second Sunday in Advent 2013, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is transferred to the next day, Monday, December 9, 2013.

Unlike certain other Holy Days of Obligation, where the requirement to attend Mass is abrogated when the date of the feast falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is so important that the obligation is not waived when it falls on Saturday or Monday. (See Is Immaculate Conception a Holy Day of Obligation? for more details.) Thus, when Immaculate Conception 2014 falls on Monday, December 8, Catholics will be obliged to attend Mass.

However, the situation in 2013 is different: Since the normal date of the feast falls on Sunday, the celebration has been transferred to Monday, but the obligation does not transfer. Thus, in 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is not a Holy Day of Obligation.

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