Going to a "special" mass on Sundays


#1

Hi everybody

I assume I got this right, I just want to make sure. Is it right that it doesn’t matter (for fulfilling the Sunday obligation) if the mass I go to does not have the regular Sunday readings?

Current situation: I am considering going to mass in a town where this Sunday (tomorrow) they are celebrating the Saint Lawrence as a solemnity, because he is the patron saint of the church. I used to live there and it would be nice to go to the celebration.

Now, if I still lived there, it would be clear: The solemnity overweighs the Sunday. But since I don’t live in that town anymore and where I live now the normal readings would be read, I have asked myself would I have to go to another mass in the evening when i get back to the city where I live now??

If somebody is surer than me and knows for sure, I would appreciate it :).
(I am not in the US, but I think such rules are universal?)

Kathrin


#2

It doesn’t matter what the readings are. The obligation is to go to Mass on Sunday, not to hear the readings of the day. Many times I have been to a wedding on a Sunday that had different readings.


#3

Any Mass between 4 pm Saturday and 11:59 pm on Sunday will fulfill your obligation. The readings don’t matter.


#4

Where do you get “4pm Saturday”? (Yes, some parishes have vigil Masses at 4, but…) a vigil Mass is meant to be in the evening (for instance, on Saturday, for Sunday), not afternoon.

Just wondering whether you’re speaking loosely, or have some sort of Church instruction in mind…


#5

Hi Gorgias,

I am in the Midwest, and where I come from, our Vigil Mass starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday at one of my local parishes. At another, it starts at 4:30 p.m. I have lived in two different states and where I lived before, the Saturday Vigil Mass began at 5 p.m.


#6

Found this on EWTN website:

…"based on Pope Pius XII’s apostolic constitution “Christus Dominus” and the Code of Canon Law, No. 1248.1, which speaks of Saturday evening (“vespere”) Mass, say that 4 p.m., and not 5 p.m. as I affirmed, is the recognized time after which Sunday Masses may be celebrated.


#7

The Saturday evening Sunday Mass is not a vigil Mass, it is the Mass of Sunday. There are only a few vigil Masses and they are on the eve of feasts like Christmas, Easter, Pentecost,

It used to be forbidden to celebrate Mass after noon – any day. Mass had to be celebrated between midnight and noon.

Then, on Epiphany 1953, in his apostolic constitution “Christus Dominus”, Pope Pius XII gave permission for Mass to be celebrated in the ‘evening’ and set the time at 4 p.m. Rule VI. If the circumstance calls for it as necessary, We grant to the local Ordinaries the right to permit the celebration of Mass in the evening, as we said, but in such wise that the Mass shall not begin before four o’clock in the afternoon, on holy days of obligation still observed, on those which formerly were observed, on the first Friday of every month, and also on those days on which solemn celebrations are held with a large attendance, and also, in addition to these days, on one day a week; with the requirement that the priest observe a fast of three hours from solid food and alcoholic beverages, and of one hour from non-alcoholic beverages. At these Masses the faithful may approach the Holy Table, observing the same rule as regards the Eucharistic fast, the presumption of Canon 857 remaining in force.


#8

I am not sure how a simple question can turn into an argument over what and where of Saturday evening Mass whether it is called vigil and if it should be 4pm or 4:30 or 5pm…
Seriously and to Op, you are fine attending Mass on the Sunday even if they are using reading do to some other reason.


#9

The ordinary of the diocese sets the time at which Sunday begins on Saturday evening. Therefore, in my home diocese, we have Mass at 4pm, which is the earliest possible here, while my parents go to Mass at 5:30pm, because 5pm is the earliest possible Sunday Mass for their diocese.


#10

Call it a ‘vigil’ or an ‘anticipated’ Mass… the subject at hand remains the same: attendance at Mass on Saturday, with respect to the obligation to participate in Mass on Sunday. :shrug:

It used to be forbidden to celebrate Mass after noon – any day. Mass had to be celebrated between midnight and noon.

Then, on Epiphany 1953, in his apostolic constitution “Christus Dominus”, Pope Pius XII gave permission for Mass to be celebrated in the ‘evening’ and set the time at 4 p.m.

Agreed. In Christus Dominus, Pius XII wasn’t talking about whether a Mass celebrated at 4pm on Saturday actually satisfied the Sunday obligation, but rather, whether Mass might be licitly celebrated at that time. Thanks for making that point. :wink:

[quote=Elizium23]The ordinary of the diocese sets the time at which Sunday begins on Saturday evening.
[/quote]

More precisely, the ordinary has the ability to set the time at which a Mass celebrated on Saturday may count for the Sunday obligation. Therefore, Phemie’s assertion – that any Mass at 4pm Saturday counts – doesn’t hold water. :shrug:

[quote=robwar]I am not sure how a simple question can turn into an argument over what and where of Saturday evening Mass whether it is called vigil and if it should be 4pm or 4:30 or 5pm
[/quote]

Argument? No. But, I’d hope you’d recognize that it’s distressing that many desire to avoid going to Mass on Sunday after attending a wedding on Saturday; so, the question “do I have a ‘get out of Mass free’ card if I go to Mass on Saturday?” or even “can I go to Mass Saturday at 4pm?” (when the intent is such that their evening might be free) is something that becomes a pet peeve… :wink:


#11

Canon Law (Church instruction) uses the word “vespere” which is commonly translated as “evening” but it is more LOTH-based than the English definition of “evening.” Latin is the authoritative in this case. Moreover anything after Saturday “vespere” (now set by the bishops to 4 p.m.) is “dominicis” or the Lord’s Day, and fulfills the obligation to attend Mass. This is not to be confused with the midnight-to-midnight Sunday. And it shouldn’t be confused with a vigil Mass either. Nor an anticipated Mass either as it really is on the Lord’s Day.


#12

Fair enough. Are you claiming, though, that there is a universal 4pm standard, or that individual bishops have the authority to set a time (and some have done so)? I might suggest that it’s the latter; and if so, a blanket statement that “4pm is OK” is misleading…


#13

Canon Law didn’t set an exact time, if that’s what you mean. Vesper is vesper.


#14

:thumbsup:

Precisely. So telling Catholics “any time after 4pm” is misleading. (Peters makes the reasonable argument that, given the uncertainty, there is a question about culpability; yet, this does not mean that 4pm is definitively accurate.)


#15

Thank you for your replies :slight_smile: I see this has turned a bit into a discussion…:wink: In this case, the mass is celebrated ON Sunday morning, with procession and for the occasion of the patron saint of that church; whose feast day just coincidentially falls on a Sunday this year. (which is also the reason why I can go to the celebration, because on Aundays I don’t work :smiley: )

K.


#16

The point is that the type of liturgy and the readings and propers used therein are not what matters to meet your Sunday obligation. It is the time at which the Mass is celebrated. Therefore if you go to Mass on Sunday in a Catholic rite, your obligation is satisfied. Always and everywhere. You can go to a Byzantine Divine Liturgy in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, you can go to an Extraordinary Form Mass celebrated by the FSSP or even the SSPX, you can go to a Clown Mass celebrated by Fr. Heterodox at Blessed Redeemer of Inclusivity because you found them on the diocesan web page; all of these liturgies will satisfy your obligation because they are on a Sunday.


#17

The special feast mass was very beautiful :slight_smile: With procession, outside the little church in that town.

And the Sunday readings for the “ordinary” Sunday I could still read online. :slight_smile:

Thank you all again.


#18

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