Saturday mass at 12:10 pm satisfies obligation?

I’m having a bit of an issue with this. My understanding was that so-called “vigil” masses only fulfill your obligation on holy days because holy days begin with the first vesper (the vesper of the “previous” day by the reckoning of a 24-hour day calendar). Thus, they’re not really vigil masses, but masses which take place on that holy day. Regardless, there is a church in my diocese that offers a 12:10 pm mass that it claims satisfies the obligation. How is this possible?


No, it does not fulfill your Sunday obligation. Anytime after 4pm DOES meet your Sunday obligation.

This is a question for the chancery office of your diocese, not this board. Your bishop or his designee can answer your question.

Normally it wouldn’t. I don’t know what powers the local ordinary (bishop or archbishop) has to change this. You might give a call to the chancery and find out.

Hope someone can answer your question because for me personally I have a bit of an issue with people who only want to know about what their obligations are. In that God is the centre of your life. If God is the centre of your life, then you will know the answer to your own question about Obligations and duties. Of course you can Worship God by following the set of GRIMS laid down by the Catholic Church for guidence. But wouldn’t it be really good if you and others could Worship God beyond the call of duty/obligation. You go to each Mass because you really want to be at each Mass to Worship God. Its not about should I be doing because GRIMS requires me to do so… It is about you do so because God is the centre of your life and you want to be there even on those days you would rather be somewhere else, you would manage to be there. Things crop up from time to time, thats life. But think about Mass attendence in terms of your Love of God and you will answer your own question rather than think about Mass attendence in terms of satisfying GRIM Obligations. :slight_smile:
peace be with you

Ah, wasn’t sure if this was a universal thing I wasn’t aware of. Thanks, I be sure to do that.

(I think you made some “accidental” spelling mistakes, so I fixed them and bolded them in the quote)


While I appreciate you taking the time to respond, I think it’s important to point out the error of such an approach. While we should never plan to fulfill our obligations and nothing more and should always attempt to go beyond what is expected of us, it is not appropriate to disregard the obligations which are handed down to us by the Church. In other words, while our faith should never become an icy and meaningless following of rules and regulations, our faith should also never forget the importance of the Church and its role as God’s instructional institution on earth on the matters of faith and morals.

You cannot meet an obligation unless you know what they are. It doesn’t mean that God is not the center of your life. It could be because He is the center that you wish to honor Him by living up to the obligations that the Church has instituted.

Yes, calling your chancery is your best bet. In regards to vigils, Canon Law just says “evening of the previous day”. Most commonly, I have seen that interpreted as 4pm or later. But circumstances vary.

(I think you made some “accidental” spelling mistakes, so I fixed them and bolded them in the quote)
Thanks. Sadly it wasn’t a spelling mistake but trying to learn what is written online and got the letters the wrong way around so thanks for correcting them

As for the rest and I will respond to you alone on this because others are quick to jump rather than give time for the accused to answer and if they will be so patient then they will read this as a reply to all posts telling me why I am wrong without giving me time to answer your first post.
We are all kind of entitled to our own opinions since this is a discussion forum and I was just saying what my issue is, whether rightly or wrongly by the popular majority etc:). I will stand by my ground on this and feel that People should be at Mass wherever possible because they want to Worship God and not because er what GIRMS? (is that right:blush:) expects them to do. We don’t always want to be there but in those times we still go because we Love God week in week out or day in or day out whichever you do. Admitted as it will be soon pointed out, if not already that I am anglican and therefore think different. :smiley: It don’t have any difference on this approach because there are many an Anglican that likes to view themselves more Catholic than Roman Catholics until it comes to the nitty gritty of being Roman Catholic that is. But what I am trying to say here is that we too have the Articles etc that people can and no doubt some people will faithfully follow. I personally haven’t looked at any of them as a guide with my faith with God. Again whether rightly or wrongly with the majority :thumbsup:
I didn’t mean it in a harsh way but it probably came over as such. What I am trying to say we do better for going to Mass because of whatever draws there of God rather than obligations and duties of being there. Fine, yes, call on them when going through a hard patch of when not wanting to attend Mass, if that helps get you there. But for me personally and I think I may have had this issue before perhaps but if a Catholic just wants to be at Saturday 12.10 Mass rather than Sunday Morning Mass etc then if that is what they can manage are they any lesser Catholic than the Catholic who does them all? All the following of rules is good if it provides incentives to be there but is it good when it means someone is beating themselves up over it because they cannot commit to that time? That is what I think I am trying to mean.
Thank you for your patience:thumbsup:

my apologies because there hasn’t been an anglican flag waved at me yet and so far only one other reply which admittedly in fairness yes that is true one cannot meet their obligation without knowing what it is - but I thought you guys had classes telling you what that is etc and also my apologies I still feel that obligations isn’t what gets us to church, only when we are struggling but not as a rule of thumb. My apologies if this offends anyone but just my opinion and thats all.:o

While I appreciate that you are Anglican, it must be pointed out that the Anglican Church isn’t the Catholic Church with a different name. This means that giving a Catholic advice and guidance on Catholic teachings and obligations, etc based on what Anglicans think/believe is unwise and potentially damaging because it is highly likely the person is giving bad and/or incorrect information. While it is always best to strive to go above and beyond the bare minimums and obligations, sometimes that’s the best the person can do for a legitimate reason.

For the OP:
Catholics are obligated to attend Mass on Sundays (it must be a Mass, and not a liturgy of the word with a communion service, which seems to be turning into the new norm in places where there is a priest shortage, but not a church or Sunday Mass shortage). That being said, there is now an “anticipatory Mass” on Saturday that fulfills the Sunday obligation. The Mass must start no earlier than 4:00 pm. This is why the majority of Nuptial Masses on Saturdays do not fulfill the Sunday obligation. Most are in the early afternoon, which is too early.

If you are unable to fulfill your obligation for a legitimate reason, there is no obligation and you do not sin.

BTW: The concept of something being anticipatory is not new. Even prior to Vatican II, those obligated to prayer the Breviary at specific times of the day, could read them at an earlier time if he would not be able to at the proper time.

Check with your diocese. Many years ago we attend a 2:00pm Saturday afternoon Mass in Las Vegas that satisfied the Sunday obligation. The church was close to the strip and the bishop allowed it so the tourists (us) could get to Mass without running around all over Las Vegas looking for a church.

As others have said, best to check with the chancery office.

It could be that Mass is scheduled at this time because of priest schedules, a paticular situation in this parish (ie many parishioners who work shifts at a local employer), or another pastoral reason that may not be apparent to the casual observer.

Mass schedules are not just randomly decided, so someone knows that answer to how this Mass time got to be. :slight_smile:

flaunt the anglican card if you want Deo but please read my already given response to that.

Plus this has nothing to do with any church teachings. it is what I personally feel and hope that people are intelligent enough to seperate that. I am not giving advice I was giving my personal opinion on a discussion board and its amazing how many Catholics give similar attitude of responses in the non Catholic threads so its okay for you guys to advise us not to but the other way around, you can chip in knowing all about us. :frowning:

I do appreciate the difference but I hope you can see the difference between opinion and teaching:thumbsup:

The OP wasn’t asking what the bare minimum was he needed to do to satisfy his obligation. He was simply asking whether or not such a Mass would satisfy his obligation. It’s a pretty uncharitable leap to go from there to say he’s concerned “only” with satisfying obligations.

Let’s exercise some charity before derailing a thread to presumptuously scold others for their Pharisaism.

I wish people would properly read all posts before they leap in if they are going to continuingly accuse when I have already exercised charity if you read an early post properly of mine because hadn’t meant it to sound harsh when an earlier poster picked up my mistake with GIRMS etc and commented on other things :thumbsup:

Next time someone takes issue with me,if please find out if it hasn’t already been covered by an earlier poster, like the matter has been this time and the matter dealt with and please find out what I might mean if you’ve identified something I shouldn’t have said and be decent and exercise that charity towards me rather than assume I’m what you think I am. I am willing to listen so long as its not an endless lot of posters just wanting to jump in on their own band wagon. Once someone has raised it with me leave it to them to sort out please rather than all having a go… :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

This forum can be used to gather some information about the Catholic Church, Catholic practices, etc, but as I’ve found out, in all charity I do have to remember it’s still the Internet. There’s no way that I know whether a particular response was made by someone with actual knowledge about a specific topic. In other words, I could be reading the response of a canon lawyer or a priest. Or I could be reading the response of an anti-Catholic with an axe to grind, or a school child who ought to be doing his/her homework.

Most dioceses have websites, and there are usually “frequently asked questions” menus. Minimally, they post the chancery’s phone number. Alternately, a local parish is a good resource for questions. If you live in the United States, the USCCB has very good, official information on its website, including some very sophisticated links, as do the state conferences of Catholic bishops.

I do, however, “feel your pain.” Last Holy Saturday, I was working at my hospital, and since I had a quiet afternoon ahead, volunteered to take several stable patients to Mass in the hospital chapel at 2 PM. The daytime Mass of the Resurrection was used. I was under the impression that I had thus fulfilled my Sunday obligation, and slept in on Easter morning.

A few weeks after Easter a similar thread as this appeared on this forum. The general comment was that the “cutoff time” was 4 PM, with a few other opinions such as “after dark,” etc. That gave me some doubts, so I posted the above scenario, and had a few people tell me that no, I had not fulfilled my Sunday obligation and had better go to confession, especially if I had received the Eucharist since (I had.)

So I went to confession and confessed all of this, only to have the priest tell me that a) each diocese has different times on Saturday that fulfill the anticipated Mass obligation, b) I was acting in good faith since I did not know what time that was, c) I had performed a spiritual work of mercy by taking those patients to Mass, and d) how and where to get correct information on such matters. He concluded by telling me that I had not committed a mortal sin since I did not know that the 2 PM Mass didn’t fulfill the obligation, as committing a mortal sin requires sufficient knowledge as one condition. He then told me to figure out something else to confess!

I left the confessional feeling a little sheepish about having my peace of mind disturbed by the Internet Curia, however well-intentioned they were!:o

New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law gives 4PM. The reason given is Canon 17.Can. 17 Ecclesiastical laws are to be understood according to the proper meaning of the words considered in their text and context. If the meaning remains doubtful or obscure, there must be recourse to parallel places, if there be any, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the mind of the legislator.
Another Canon law commentary from England, that I checked, stated afternoon (> 12PM).

Can. 1248 §1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day.

Can. 1248 §1. Praecepto de Missa participanda satisfacit qui Missae assistit ubicumque celebratur ritu catholico vel ipso die festo vel** vespere** diei praecedentis.

What readings are read at the 12:10pm Mass? There are daily Mass readings for Saturdays, check the missalette that I hope this parish has. The Sunday Mass (obligation Mass) readings are different from the daily Mass readings and in fact should be in a completely different section of any missalette. The Saturday Daily Mass readings should be listed between Friday and Monday of every week.

This should determine if this 12:10pm Mass would qualify for the Sunday obligation, although I doubt any Saturday Mass prior to 4pm would.

From the commentaries I have read the readings are not significant for fulfillment of the obligation. But for Christmas and Immaculate Conception, on Saturday or Monday, there remain two obligations.

Here is an interesting notice form the Diocese of Davenport, 2012:

Dec 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Patronal Feast Day of the United States) This solemnity remains a Holy Day of Obligation, even when it falls on a Saturday. Ritual and funeral Masses are prohibited. After 4pm, the Advent Sunday Mass is celebrated. Evening Prayer I of the Advent Sunday is used.

Our priest told us that in order to qualify as satisfying your Sunday obligation. The mass could be no ealier than 4pm
The readings used are normally the the Sunday Readings…
The Bishop could approve earlier massees if there is a special circumstance.
I read the readings daily and Saturdays readings are different.
One large parish with limited space has 4 vigil masses in addition to Sunday. They have approval for earlier vigil masses

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