Nuptial Mass and Sunday Obligation


#1

My mother and I will be going to a Nuptial Mass for my Aunt’s Goddaughter on Saturday. The Mass will be at 2:30pm. Does this count towards Sunday obligation even though the readings etc will be different compared to Sunday?

I have no problems going to Mass on Sunday morning (or in afternoon for Extraordinary Form that I prefer) or the 4pm Saturday Mass at a nearby parish as the church that the wedding will be at has 5pm Mass (reception starts at 5:30pm).


#2

It doesn't. A Mass on Saturday needs to be later, I think after 4 PM to fulfill the Sunday obligation.


#3

From the Code of Canon Law

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."

Therefore a 2.30 Mass on Saturday would not fulfil the Sunday obligation.

May God bless your Aunt’s God-daughter and her marriage with happiness and peace


#4

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:301608"]
My mother and I will be going to a Nuptial Mass for my Aunt's Goddaughter on Saturday. The Mass will be at 2:30pm. Does this count towards Sunday obligation even though the readings etc will be different compared to Sunday?

I have no problems going to Mass on Sunday morning (or in afternoon for Extraordinary Form that I prefer) or the 4pm Saturday Mass at a nearby parish as the church that the wedding will be at has 5pm Mass (reception starts at 5:30pm).

[/quote]

As others have pointed out, the time would need to be later for it to count as your Sunday obligation. In the United States, I believe that 4 pm is the earliest that a Saturday mass can count as Sunday. It has nothing to do with the readings, and everything to do with the time that the mass occurs.


#5

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:301608"]
My mother and I will be going to a Nuptial Mass for my Aunt's Goddaughter on Saturday. The Mass will be at 2:30pm. Does this count towards Sunday obligation even though the readings etc will be different compared to Sunday?

[/quote]

The readings are not relevant.

The time of the Mass is. No a 2:30 p.m. Saturday Mass does not fulfill your Sunday obligation.

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:301608"]
I have no problems going to Mass on Sunday morning (or in afternoon for Extraordinary Form that I prefer) or the 4pm Saturday Mass at a nearby parish as the church that the wedding will be at has 5pm Mass (reception starts at 5:30pm).

[/quote]

Yes, you should definitely make plans to attend another Mass for your Sunday obligation.


#6

It has to be after 4:30 pm.


#7

Perhaps your diocese has made a rule that pastors cannot schedule a Vigil Mass before 4:30pm. That’s not the case everywhere, though. Every parish in my area has their Vigil Mass at 4:00pm.

This question has come up before. Canon Law is not specific. It just says “evening”. Does anyone know if the USCCB has defined things more specifically for the US? I know that 4pm is the cut-off point I always hear, but I’ve yet to encounter definitive documentation for that.


#8

The diocese I live in has Saturday Masses that start at 4pm or 5pm mainly. Some of them do have 4:30pm or 5:30pm. For me, for a long time due to a work schedule, Saturday evening was my only choice as Sunday mornings I had to work. Now I have a choice of time and day to satisfy my Sunday obligation.


#9

The Canon Law commentaries I’ve seen say 4 PM based on Rule VI of 1953’s Apostolic Constitution “CHRISTUS DOMINUS” which says:

With Reference to Evening Masses
(Constitution, Rule VI)
By the force of the Constitution the Ordinaries of places[27] have the faculty of permitting the saying of evening Masses in their own territory, should circumstances render this necessary. This holds true despite the command of canon 821, # 1. The common good sometimes demands the saying of Mass after midday: For example, for the workers in some industries who work their shifts even on feast days, for those categories of workers who must be on the job during the morning hours of feast days, like dock workers, and likewise for those who have come in great numbers and from considerable distances for some religious or social celebration, etc.
12. Such Masses, however, may not be said before four o’clock in the afternoon,


#10

Canon law is not specific about the time. Many canon law commentaries cite 4 pm as the earliest time. It is my understanding that 4 pm is seen in North America to be the earliest time Mass on Saturday evening can count for Sunday. In the UK there seems to be no awareness of this concept. The standard canon law commentary in the British Isles says it’s 12 noon. Unhelpfully, it doesn’t justify its choice of that time. I believe 12 noon is far too early to count. In practice here I don’t think Sunday Mass on Saturday evening begins earlier than 4 pm. (In fact I’m going to check our diocesan directory.) No parish in my diocese celebrates the Sunday Mass on Saturday evening earlier than 5 pm, with 6.30 and 7 pm being the most common times. I don’t think many people would consider 2.30 pm in the afternoon as being evening.

Of course, it is not the Mass you go to that counts, it’s the time. A nuptial, requiem, or votive Mass could all fulfil the obligation. The obligation can be filled in Eastern and Oriental Catholic church. However, the Mass needs to be in the evening. As you’re in North America I wouldn’t go to Mass earlier than 4 pm. On a personal note I see 4 o’clock as still being afternoon, if I was having to choose I think 5 would be the earliest I’d go and probably not until after 6.


#11

[quote="Phemie, post:9, topic:301608"]
The Canon Law commentaries I've seen say 4 PM based on Rule VI of 1953's Apostolic Constitution "CHRISTUS DOMINUS" which says:

[/quote]

Thanks for that, Phemie. I figured there had to be some document somewhere that said 4pm since I hear that same time given consistently in many places.


#12

I don’t think by the stretch of anyone’s imagination that 12 noon could in any way be considered evening.


#13

Neither do I but, obviously, some canonists do.


#14

The time of day is the problem and not the fact that it is a nuptial mass and not the mass of that Sunday. Our wedding was at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and the priest told the congregation that it fulfilled their Sunday obligation. As the other posters have stated, anytime before 4:00 p.m. is not considered "evening."


#15

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:301608"]
My mother and I will be going to a Nuptial Mass for my Aunt's Goddaughter on Saturday. The Mass will be at 2:30pm. Does this count towards Sunday obligation even though the readings etc will be different compared to Sunday?

[/quote]

In short, the readings don't change anything. The time is all that matters, and it's too early to "count" for Sunday.


#16

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