December 8 holy day


I have just called the Arch Diocese of Denver because I was confused. Sat night mass after 4 p.m with the readings for the second Sunday in Advent does not fulfill the Immaculate Conception obligation. I know that there are those here who disagree but they disagree with the Denver Diocese as well as my parish priest who is in another diocese.


Regarding vigil Masses is 4pm the earliest they can take place? The earliest in my area is 4pm. Most are 430 or 5.


Priests say some weird things sometimes. On some issues, despite all of their time in seminary and other training they receive, certain clergy know less than more knowledgeable members of the laity on certain issues. It’s like that in any social field with specialized experts.


Yes. It does.

It’s right there in black and white in the canon: any mass celebrated in a Catholic rite on the day of the obligation fulfills the obligation.

You know what? I work with diocesan people all the time. And most of the people who answer the phones are not very well informed.

You do whatever you want to do, obviously.

I don’t plan to use the Saturday evening mass to fulfill my IC obligation. But if that were my only option, I certainly would.


The person who answered the phone transferred me to the person who knew about the liturgy. She was very knowledgeable. We even talked about next year. What she told me agreed with both my parish priest and the priest at a nearby parish. It isn’t a matter of me or you but getting out correct information. I may call back to ask about the canon you are referring to.


Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

Can. 202 §1. In law, a day is understood as a period consisting of 24 continuous hours and begins at midnight unless other provision is expressly made.

See here for an explanation from a canon lawyer:


Thank you for the information it will help when I talk with her again.


Hope, for what it’s worth, my Archdiocese must be in agreement with you. I talked Monday to the Administrative Assistant to the Msgr. at the office of Divine Liturgy when trying to sort this out. Our parish just today received a dispensation in order to celebrate the IC at the 5:30 Saturday vigil. This dispensation was required to make the change. We couldn’t use the Sunday readings to satisfy our obligation. Our priest wrongly scheduled the IC “vigil” for Friday morning. At this late date, I imagine this was the best solution. Sadly, not everyone will get the word despite Flocknote, Facebook and the website.


FWIW, the permission from the diocese was to use the propers for IC on Saturday evening. It was necessary because the liturgical rubrics dictate the 2nd Sunday propers during that time— but it isn’t for the obligation to be fulfilled.

They are two separate things: liturgical rubrics, governed by the GIRM, and the obligation, governed by Canon Law.

This permission to use the IC propers is great and all, but actually has nothing to do with whether someone satisfies either obligation by going to that mass.

If someone who has already satisfied their IC obligation elsewhere goes to that mass, they satisfy their Sunday obligation by doing so— the readings are irrelevant to the obligation.


I see the distinction now. That makes sense. I apologize. Thank you.


Nothing to apologize for. I’m just trying to clarify. It’s a confusing thing that only happens once in a blue moon. Something most people don’t pay any attention to.

I think it’s good you’ve asked questions to understand what is going on in your parish.


Thank you.


I contacted the Diocese again. This time I talked to the Director who said that 1ke is correct. Any mass on the Holy Day fulfills the obligation. I hope that there is no longer a confusion.

@1ke Thanks for your help.


You are welcome. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend attending all the masses their hearts desire.


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