Due to the fact that All Saints Day falls on a Sunday this year, does the Saturday evening mass still fulfill the Sunday obligation?
Yes, the Vigil Mass on Saturday will still fulfill the Sunday obligation.
Just as any Saturday evening Mass fulfills the obligation for Sunday, the case is the same for All Saints. One can attend Mass on Saturday evening to fulfill his or her obligation, as always.
Since we have beat this topic to death, why don’t we make it interesting again and add: the Saturday evening mass fulfills the obligation for Sunday only when one is in full participation of that mass (or any other mass for that matter)?
The obligation is to attend Mass.
While the Church encourages everyone to participate fully in every Mass, there is no such requirement when it comes to fulfilling the Sunday obligation.
Father, I came up with this when looking for an answer to our discussion:
3) A religious, devout attendance. One should first of all have the intention which is required by the Church, i.e., the intention to assist at Mass and to honor God by an act of religion. And one must have sufficient attention. A certain interior attention, or presence of mind, is required so that this is truly a human act, and not just a simple physical presence. Real exterior attention is also required, which consists in avoiding everything inconsistent with being at Mass: falling asleep, talking, reading profane literature, etc.
I would like to think that the person sitting in the corner, texting during the entire mass is not really fulfilling their obligation. I think you are saying that just because they are there in body but not in spirit, they have nonetheless fulfilled their obligation. They are not in full communion with the body of Christ. Also, it was mentioned that one does not fulfill their obligation when they meander in during the homily and leave right after communion for example. The obligation is only met when they attend mass from beginning to end.
I would like to think that someone attending Mass wouldn’t have attention to spare for thinking bad stuff about the person texting in the corner. If you’re a pastor or an usher or that person’s mother, then you can worry about them. I try to assume that they have a good reason, like somebody sick in the family. (And maybe they do, although it’s not my business.)
Look, obviously it’s better to attend Mass devoutly and with full attention.
However, Mother Church knows that we are not always going to be able to attend church the way the angels do. Sometimes we are worried. Sometimes we are rebellious. Sometimes we are tired and sleepy. In all these cases, one just has to care enough to get to Mass.
So physical attendance at Mass does count as fulfilling the Sunday obligation.
Also, though various of the old canon law manuals disagree about how much Mass counts as fulfilling the Sunday obligation, nobody says it has to be the entire Mass from beginning to end. Generally, you gotta be there for part of the Liturgy of the Word (sometimes counted as late as the homily or the Creed), and for part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist (usually counted as from the Offertory up to the end of the Eucharistic Prayer).
You also have to attend these bits in the same day… but not necessarily at the same Mass. So if you end up with a super-weird schedule for the day, you can attend the last half of one Mass and the first part of another, and fully satisfy your Sunday obligation.
If you have never had this sort of super-weird day happen to you, I congratulate you. But again, Mother Church knows that stuff happens, and she wants her kids to go to Mass more than she wants it to occur neatly.
Again, obviously the minimum obligation shouldn’t be the whole story; we just have the minimum available to us for those times when we need it.
Thanks for the response. But, what about that person, moreover a teenager who is forced to attend mass because the parents say so? They do not want to be there. Are they then still in full communion with the body? I’ve witnessed it before. They walk in late, sit in the corner and text, do not go to communion, and leave before the end. I have also heard some say, “I hate the Catholic church and the dumb things they do, but my parents make me come with them.” Perhaps they have fulfilled their obligation, but to what extent? And in opposition to your words (not being argumentative here), that person DID NOT care to get themselves to mass; they were forced to do so.
I realize the time one arrives and when one leaves is a tricky situation, I know you can attend a portion of one mass and one portion of another to complete the total mass obligation, but I never heard of anyone ever doing that. Very few people know this.
I’m not trying to give you a cop-out answer, but I think you’re better off asking a priest about attendance and participation at Mass. We can sit here and give you our opinions on what counts as attending Mass and what doesn’t, but in the end, they are just our opinions. You’re better off asking a priest. I think Fr. David gave a nice answer earlier in this thread, but you can always ask your parish priest.
Thanks, but I consider this just a conversation with you all. It really doesn’t bother me enough to ask my parish priests who probably would care less. After all, no one is going to approach that person and tell them that they did not meet their Sunday obligation.