On December 8, the Catholic Church throughout the world celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This feast day is the patronal feast of the United States of America. It commemorates the great gift that God bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary who “was preserved, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, free from all stain of original sin.” (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary falls on Saturday, December 8, 2018. It is observed as a Holy Day of Obligation. Anticipated Masses for the Solemnity may be celebrated beginning at 4:00 PM on Friday December 7th. The Mass on Saturday evening may be celebrated for the Immaculate Conception or the Second Sunday of Advent. In either case, the faithful are required to attend Holy Mass twice this weekend to fulfill the obligation for the Holy Day and for the Sunday.