Hey I’m not yet Catholic, but in a Missal I was looking at it gives special instruction for funeral and wedding masses. Does that mean a funeral mass can “replace” a Sunday Mass?
Theoretically, yes. In practice, a parish would essentially never have a funeral during a regularly-scheduled Sunday Mass. (In other words, if the parish website says Mass is at 10:30, they’re not going to make that a funeral.) If, though, a funeral Mass is held on a Sunday at some other time, it’s still very much Mass, so going to it would satisfy the obligation to attend a Mass on Sunday.
A Nuptial Mass [in the sense of the prayers and the readings] cannot replace a Sunday Mass. If a couple gets married on a Sunday,and want to have the Rite of Marriage during Mass, they must use the Mass of the Sunday.
A funeral Mass can replace a Sunday in Ordinary Time (i.e. a Sunday where green vestments are worn) but not other Sundays.
That is not entirely correct. As the USCCB states:
[Sundays - Ordinary Time & Sundays - Christmas Season
If the wedding during Mass is chosen, the Mass of the Sunday is used but one of the readings may be changed. **If the Mass is not a parish Mass, the entire wedding Mass may be used. **](http://www.nccbuscc.org/liturgy/q&a/general/liturgycalendar.shtml)(Rite of Marriage, #11).
It also points out that on Sundays in Advent and Lent “presidential prayers, preface, and two of the readings are taken from the Mass of the day (Sunday of Lent). One reading may be chosen from the readings for the wedding Mass, and the Nuptial Blessing is given at the usual time. (GIRM #330 and the Rite of Marriage [OM] #11). The general law does not limit which reading may be changed.”
Thanks for all the answers so far, but I’m still a little confused about how it works. Does this mean it’s possible to “intrude” on a wedding or a funeral, like if you just came in from out of town and didn’t know there was going to be a wedding mass?
Yes, in the sense that you can stay for the Mass. No, in the sense that you’re not intruding! Masses are not closed-door affairs. That said, most people choose generally not to go to others’ weddings and funerals; although acceptable, it’s a little weird.
Not a small town boy, are you?
Going to weddings to which you’re not invited is considered perfectly normal – even those without Mass such as mine was. Pictures taken at the recessional show lots of people who had not been on the guest list.
Funerals, well, you’re always there for someone, whether a child, spouse, cousin, friend of the deceased. Some make a point of going to funerals just so the deceased will have someone there.
Weddings and funerals are public rites of the Church, anyone can attend. How normal or strange that would be depends upon local custom…