Chess Tournaments and the Sunday Obligation

I have a chess tournament on a Sunday in July, and have every intention of going to Saturday Vigil Mass the day before, as the times of the Sunday games will almost definitely prevent me from attending Mass at any of the nearby churches.

From similar forums, it seems that this counts as okay, but if anyone has a reason for disagreement, then please do tell me.

My more important question has to do with the possibility that I might actually win a monetary prize on that Sunday chess tournament (or even a trophy!). Even if I were to donate all my monetary winnings to my parish/diocese, or even not accept the trophy, I wonder if I would be STILL trampling over Biblical understandings of not laboring on the sabbath.

Another option…to simply not accept the monetary prizes at all?

You are free to go to a Saturday anticipatory (vigil) Mass at your discretion; you don’t need any kind of a “special reason” to do so.

The Sunday observance norm traditionally focuses on “servile work” - usually defined as labor for others, typically manual labor. Can’t think of anything less like manual labor than chess - totally cerebral. Assume this is your hobby and not how you make your living. I can’t see any problem, not only with your participation in the tournament, but winning a cash prize or trophy - and there is no obligation to refuse these or donate any winnings to the church, though it’s a nice thought. Good luck!

As long as you go to the Saturday Vigil Mass you have fulfilled your Sunday obligation; Enjoy the chess tournament:D

As far as the Church and the Bible are concerned, Sunday starts at sundown on Saturday (not at midnight). Therefore, going to Vigil Mass on Saturday IS going to Mass on Sunday. :rolleyes: Makes sense? :wink:

That’s entirely correct; the previous day ends at sundown, the new one begins immediately after.

In theory, that works. In practice, while a 5:00 pm mass on Saturday in the middle of winter may be at sundown, is about four hours before sundownin the summer, at least in my part of the globe. :shrug:

Methinks the Almighty doesn’t care about the timing of mass, only that we get there. :smiley:

This post is just informational, not a “correction” or anything of the sort.

In liturgical tradition, Sundays and Solemnities begin the evening prior to the feast, but interestingly enough, Canon Law ***does ***reckon time from midnight to midnight.

Once in a great while these two methods come head to head - here’s an example:

*]Let’s say you want to Mass Saturday morning and received Holy Communion.
*]Then you attended a Nuptial Mass in the afternoon and received Holy Communion.
*]Then you attended the anticipation Mass Saturday evening. You would not be able to receive Holy Communion again.
*]The reason is that although the last Mass you are attending is “for” the following day, it still falls within the 24 hour period of Saturday. To receive Holy Communion at the last Mass you would need to NOT receive at one of the two previous ones.
*](By the way, it would be a great problem to have - parishioners attending three Masses in a day!)
And, to a previous poster’s comment about “you don’t have to have a reason to attend the anticipation Mass” – that is true today, but when the practice began it was only to be used by those who COULD NOT attend Mass on Sunday (for reasons of work, for example). It was a concession for those who wanted to, but couldn’t attend Mass on Sundays. Now a days it’s used all to often “to get it over with early.” My how times have changed.

God bless you for your dedication to keeping the Lord’s Day!


Also, not all days are equal on the liturgical calendar. My understanding is that the Daily Office is observed midnight-midnight (although I’ve heard an exception for certain extremities of modern life permits recitations whose beginnings are pushed past midnight and into the following day), except for Sundays and solemnities. In those cases, there is an Evening Prayer I and Evening Prayer II, so that our great days are observed for two evenings.

Oh, sorry, LOL, one more tangential question—I did not want to start a new thread for this.

The same question applies to confessions. I mean, chess tournaments tend to be held on weekends, and this prevents me from going to weekly confession. Surely it is okay for me to “make up a confession absence” by going to a confession in the middle of the week (and sometimes, if I know I will be unable to go a church on Saturday, I actually confess on a weekday before that Saturday)?

To me, it seems that the typical schedule for confessions (Saturdays) does not make Saturday any more a special day for confession as any other day.

There is no REQUIREMENT to go to confession unless you are in a state of mortal sin. In which case, you should get yourself to confession as soon as it is possible.

Yes, SirKnight, you are totally right.

I guess I have been raised to believe that being a Catholic Christian is not about what we have to do, but what we ought to do.

I kinda prefer going to confession every week—it is a good reminder of God’s grace. Even if I don’t have a sin to confess, I can ask for a blessing.

I’m not trying to imply in the least that having a hobby (in this case chess) is sinful at all. But it just so happens that its tournaments on weekends have led to this little discussion thread.

I also ATTEMPT to go to confession once a week and it is usually during the week and not on Saturday but unless I’ve committed a mortal sin, there is no issue if I miss a week here or there.

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