Does a Funeral Mass on Sat. Fulfill Sunday Obligation?

I know this question has been posted before but I can’t remember the answer nor am I able to find it here.

Thanks much.

From the 1983 code of canon law:

§1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite either on a holy day itself or on the evening of the previous day (canon 1248).

The actual timing of the Mass, in order that the Sunday obligation be fulfilled, is open to some interpretation; most often, 4 pm is mentioned, though this has been addressed in the “Ask an Apologist” forum, in reference to nuptial Masses.

However, funeral Masses celebrated late afternoon on a Saturday are very, very rare indeed, unless the cremains are present. Non-Christian denominations may have late afternoon, early evening funerals, but, I do not believe that these happen in the Church. The only one that I know of was when the Focolare foundress died and her funeral Mass was celebrated on a weekday at 5:30PM Roman time at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.

Furthermore, funeral Masses are not celebrated on Sundays, and, any time 4PM and after on a Saturday is already considered Sunday by the Church.

However, I think that there is a difference between a funeral Mass and a wedding Mass as far as the fulfilment of the Sunday obligation is concerned.

You certainly can’t be expected to go to Mass two days running, now can you?

That would be totally unreasonable.

Only if its sufficiently late in the afternooon.

However, since most priests and churches are already booked solid during those time slots for Sunday vigil masses- and many cemeteries lock their gates late in the afternoon making burials impossible- its pretty much an academic/theoretical question.


Actually, I think for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception last year, I remember we had to go to Mass on both Saturday and Sunday.


We were exhausted yesterday late yesterday afternoon after two weeks of watching our father die, making funeral arrangements, taking care of legalities, taking care of our sobbing mother for four 2a.m. - 6:30 a.m. days, attending our father’s funeral yesterday morning, driving a long distance to his burial and hosting a luncheon for 100 people afterwards. I was asking the question because my parents always attend the 5pm vigil mass and we had two hours to try and recouperate, shower and attend mass. [edited] we are attending the 7a.m. mass today and have another 50 people over for a thankyou luncheon today.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. We’ve been this route twice fairly recently, and I understand how difficult this has been.

And you know, had you actually needed to sleep in this morning, I have a sneaky suspicion that the Lord would understand better than some folks.

A Mass is a Mass is a Mass, though timing seems to be the key. (I have never encountered a late Saturday funeral Mass, however, due to the parish Saturday afternoon/evening Masses.)

I think it would count, and even if it didnt, I believe the Lord would forgive you. I’m praying for your family and Father as well!

Even if the funeral was too early to satisfy the Sunday obligation, I think the factors you note would justify you in asking the pastor to be excused from the obligation.


The ony way a funeral would fulfill your obligation if it was said at 4:00 Saturday and usualy funerals are not that late in the afternoon. So, if the funeral is at 4:00 you have fulfilled your Sunday obligation.

God bless yo now


My thoughts exactly.:thumbsup:

Oops…you were just being sarcastic, weren’t you?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit