Feast Immaculate Conception Dec. 8 (Saturday) 2012


I just reviewed my calendar for December. I have the unfortunate situation that I will be “on the road” on Dec 8 traveling.

“on the road” more like in the air at the time any evening mass may be said.

What should I do?
Like Sunday, Can I fulfill the obligation of the mass on Friday?


Yes, you can go to Mass the evening before – in this case Friday evening for the Saturday obligation.

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.


If you can find a mass on Friday evening, yes. I have found that when IM falls on a Saturday it is very hard to find a Friday PM mass for the obligation.

There should be masses on Saturday morning that would fulfill it. You mention traveling Saturday evening.

Just call around to the Catholic parishes near where you will be and see what you can find.


SuscipeMeDomine, I’m thinking that applies to the lectors, altar servers etc, not the general population. I’ll look through that section though.

Unfortunately Saturday AM (redeye) I’ll be in the air too. There is a meeting the whole of the afternoon then I come back.
It is a monthly travel for me with business, so I"m used to it…you’ve got me thinking though, there is one possibility of a church close to the airport though… i’ll check in mass times online. masstimes.org/

I’ll double check with our priest, but I should have no problems finding a parish with services in the evening. It is a large city. I’ve attended masses at a few different ones, and in fact was thinking of forgoing lunch today to go to noon mass at the church down the street a bit. You’ve given me encouragement that my situation is not going to end in mortal sin.

(one of the things that drew me closer to the Catholic church in general as when I feel drawn to go worship, the church isn’t locked up tighter than fort knox, and there is often a mass of celebration)


Lectors, altar servers, etc. don’t have an obligation to attend Mass that’s any different from the rest of us. We can go Saturday evening to fulfill our Sunday obligation and can similarly go the evening before a Holy Day of Obligation to fulfill that obligation.

Would you believe one of the apologists? forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=25606


I believe you, I’m just new at all this, and the clipet I thought only applied to the lay clergy.
That’s cool

of all the searches I did prior to posting, I never got this one to come up.
I think it would have answered all my questions.


The confusion probably comes from the term “assists at” Mass. That doesn’t mean being an altar server or lector. It means participating in the Mass or attending the Mass.


If it is necessary travel, and travel for work is indeed necessary, then you’re automatically dispensed from your obligation. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over this. If you can make it to a Mass, great, but if you can’t, your obligation is dispensed.

If you’re still hesitant, you can ask your priest to formally dispense you.

For me in Canada, Dec. 8 is no longer a day of obligation, incidentally.


No such thing as lay clergy. There are lay ministers.

Also I see many tend to use the term lector to be anyone who does the readings at Mass. This is also, technically, incorrect. Lector, like acolyte, is an instituted ministry. Those who fill in for a lector are correctly called readers just as those who fill in for acolytes are correctly called alter servers.


In the US it’s our patronal feast. That means that unlike most other holy days (other than Christmas) the obligation isn’t dispensed when it falls on a Saturday or Monday.



Thanks for the correction, and information.

English is my only language, but it is interesting how we continue to learn language though our lives.
I understand the difference, but to put the correct word on what I am meaning…well. I’m learning, and though I’m not a new Christian, I am new to the Catholic church.

I will get clarification though my parish priest. He is so busy and it helps to ask the right questions and is why I have posted here online a couple times first.
Though it is for work, it is form my business on the side and not the main means of my employment. I don’t know if it matters. I suppose no matter the income method, we all work not just by compulsion (some say mission) to work, but by choice in the fields of our choice. For this, it will eventually be my main employment.



that language thing again i think :ehh:


In the US, generally if a holy day falls on a Saturday or Monday the obligation to attend Mass is removed. Actually, I see that the bishops use the term “abrogated”:

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated. Source]

According to Wikipedia,

In the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, a dispensation is the suspension by competent authority of general rules of law in particular cases. Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases. Source]


From the USCCB (which determines the holy days of obligation in the US): “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.”

“the precept to attend Mass is abrogated” means you don’t have to go to Mass. :slight_smile:

December 8 is not on that list, apparently because the Immaculate Conception is our Patroness. I never knew that until reading SuscipeMeDomine’s post. (I knew about the patroness part, but not that it was why we have a holy day of obligation for December 8 even if it is on Saturday or Monday. It makes sense when you think about it.)

The Catholic Church tends to have a rather exact way of using words, so she tends to use words that aren’t in the everyday vocabulary of most people. :slight_smile:

Welcome! And the vocabulary thing gets easier after a while. :wink:



One thing you might try doing is seeing if Mass is offered in the airport. Chicago o'hare routinely has Mass celebrated in the airport chapel, especially on a holy day of obligation like this. You could try calling the airports you'll be going through or else their local chancery offices.


Yes, this.

I’m a flight attendant, and it’s not unusual for me to miss Holy Days of Obligation due to flying schedules. I did feel better about seeking a formal dispensation from my parish priest, although he says it wasn’t necessary. He also says it’s not necessary to confess my absences, but I feel better doing so anyhow. Cleaning mental house on both counts, I guess.

I’ve never heard of Mass offered at any of the international airports I’ve flown through, but that’s interesting and now I know to look into that going forward.

I wish my job allowed me the flexibility to attend Holy Days at my home parish, but I feel incredibly blessed to be able to attend Mass at so many different parishes throughout the world. It’s rare that I’m not within spitting distance of a Catholic church, anywhere in the world I’m working. It’s amazing that however different some things are, the most important things are the same - in every building and language I worship in.

Safe travels.


I too have never seen mass in an airport. All the airports I fly through do have a prayer room. Some call it different things, but like most hospitals don’t have any faith based artifacts in the room. It is simply a room with chairs or benches (pews) and sometimes with non-denominational artwork. I make regular use of them but no services. Hospitals are nearly the same way. I’ve only found masses held in the hospitals which are of Catholic origin. e.g. St Vincent’s in Toledo. (beautiful sanctuary BTW)


Chicago is actually pretty good about this. No guarantees, obviously, but the O’Hare chapel is set up for Mass (IDK about Midway). My pilgrimage group for World Youth Day celebrated Mass there last year. The priest was very accommodating. Our priest could check everything he needed for Mass because they provided vestments, books, the altar, candles, an ambo, vessels, bread, wine, you name it.

The only trouble is that the chapel at o’hare, if memory serves me correctly, is on the outside of security. So, you have to go back through security if you are connecting through Chicago.


Yea, couldn’t have the wine go thourgh TSA :stuck_out_tongue:

I avoid Chicago like the plague. I’ve never been to O’hare, but at Midway, I was aboard aircraft 3 different times and had near collisions. (all Southwest)

I do everything possible not to be routed through Chicago, including refusing a backup flight on Delta through there. They got me through on another carrier so I still arrived at my destination a couple hours late. Delta is great.

I don’t fly Southwest anymore either…


Atlanta Hartsfield does the same.

There are actually three chapels, one in domestic and one in international, both inside security, and a third in the main atrium outside of security. (404) 762-1051 is the number.


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