Late Sunday Evening Mass Times

Here is a general question that is primarily aimed at college students, college graduates, and those who may be in a profession that requires occasional Sunday work. Here is the question:

Some college campuses (secular and Catholic) have late Masses at 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. I attended one college that had a Sunday evening Mass at 10:00 p.m., and I often attended. Primarily, attendees were fraternity and sorority members who would go to Mass together after their Sunday night meeting, and if students had been out of town for the weekend (or had Army Reserve duty or worked weekends at a hospital), it was possible to attend Mass upon return.

Lately, I have wanted to ask a good priest (and those reading this) if a 10:00 p.m. Mass on Sunday evening is a valid time. Most places I am aware of will have Sunday evening Masses scheduled between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (a good solid priest in the Dallas Diocese has a last Mass at 8:00 p.m., and I won’t argue with Fr. Paul - he is a solid priest), and quite a few colleges have a Sunday evening Mass at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., or 7:30 p.m., but I’m not so sure about a 10:00 p.m. Mass.

One reason I ask is I know that a Saturday evening Mass cannot start until 4:00 p.m. in order to be valid. Most Saturday evening Masses that I am aware of take place between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., although one good parish in the Dallas Diocese does a 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon Mass, and another parish in the Fort Worth Diocese does two Saturday vigils - one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 6:00 p.m. In addition, my observation and perception in recent years is many Catholic Student Centers have changed to having earlier Masses on Sunday evenings, primarily between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Thoughts and life experience are appreciated, but please no rants. I don’t post here very often.

Any Mass said before Sunday 23:59 counts for Sunday.

Yes, of course it is a valid time. You will find that outside of college life there is little demand for nor would there be very good attendance at a late night mass on Sunday. Families are putting children to bed way before 9 or 10 p.m., adults are getting ready for an early Monday morning commute, etc. You don’t see them in *most *parishes because they aren’t practical, not because they aren’t valid. In this part of the country (dairy farms) there are many parishes that have a Saturday night mass at 8 or 9 p.m. in the summer so farmers can maximize time in the fields and milking.

I prefer the Saturday 4pm Mass -

They are not that common but my former parish still has a 7pm Mass and we sometimes still use it if we have been away all weekend and unable to make any other time. this also isn’t in a college town area. It is pretty well attended too. Usually if a parish does offer a late Mass like this, it seems like it is meant to reach out to those unable to make it any other time. I’ve found the last chance to get holy Mass a rather relaxing.

For Sundays and solemnities, the the faithful have until Midnight to fufill their obligation. So, a Sunday night Mass would count as long as it begins prior to Midnight.

Canon Law also states that for holy days, anyone can attend Mass the evening prior to the solemnity or on the day of the solemnity to fufill his or her obligation. There is no rule saying that the evening of the solemnity does not count.

There should be a market approach to this.

I think Sunday evening Mass is a great idea, as long as there is demand! :thumbsup:

Our Sunday Mass times: 5.30 am, 6.45 am, 8 am, 9.15 am, 10.30 am, 3.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 6 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.30 pm.

All Masses are full.

Even though it’s already been answered, I want to reinforce what’s already been said.

Yes, that time counts for the Sunday Mass.

Solemnities begin on the evening-before (all Sundays are solemnities), but not weekdays. Late Sunday evening or even night is perfectly fine.

To those who posted:

Thank you for your constructive input. I did notice that some college towns have Sunday Masses after 7:00 p.m., and at one college I attended a 10:00 p.m. Mass was “normal”.

I also liked the poster who noted that in several rural areas, it was common in the summer to have a Saturday evening vigil Mass begin close to 9:00 p.m., so that the farmers in the congregation could make the maximum use of time in the fields.

Another good reason for the Sunday evening Mass is to allow for those in certain professions (such as nurses) to have a chance to attend Mass after work. I used to work on Sundays myself years ago, and I even had one job where I would be scheduled to work all night Saturday night. I would get relieved at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, and I was able to rush home and change so I could make the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. After Mass, I would go home and take a nap.

For the record, I believe it is up to each diocese what time Mass may start on Saturday; a nearby Cathedral (where the Bishop is located) actually has a 2:30 Saturday Mass, which is noted to meet your Mass obligation for the following day.

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