Saturday Mass

The only time I can attend Mass (apart from weekdays) is Saturday night.
I’ve heard some people say that it is required to go on Sundays…and I’m confused as others go on Saturday night instead of Sunday.
Am I okay going on Saturdays?

Sorry…I just realized there is a similar thread to this. :o
But I’m still a little confused…

Canon Law is clear that you fulfill your Sunday or Holy Day obligation by attending Mass any time during the day of (midnight to midnight) or the evening before.

The discussion in the other thread is about exactly when does evening start. It might vary by diocese but generally speaking if you attend Mass after 4 p.m. on Saturday you can consider your obligation fulfilled unless your diocese has set a later time. Your pastor would be able to advise you.

Phemie is, indeed, correct. Here is the pertinent Canon Law:

“The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.” [Canon Law # 1248.1] (C.C.C. # 2180)

A wedding Mass, for example, as long as it takes places at 4 pm or later on Saturday (generally accepted time - there are plenty of threads about that, too) fulfills the obligation. Mass is Mass.

ok thanks

I go to Mass 4:30 saturday evening…and its the same as Sunday (reading, songs, etc…) so I think I’m good :slight_smile:

You are fulfilling your obligation at that time.

You can be assured of that by the simple fact that your parish is celebrating the Sunday Mass. If your diocese had set a later time for ‘evening’ (some insist on 5 or 6 p.m. and then you have to obey) your parish would be celebrating the Mass for Saturday.

The liturgical day of Sunday begins at 4 PM on Saturday evening. So if you attend Mass anytime after that, you are indeed going to Mass on Sunday, and not on Saturday.

There is one more criteria that must be met for a Wedding Mass to fulfill the Sunday oblication. The readings for that weekend MUST be used, not readings chosen by the couple.

I thought the same but I found out this is not true. A Mass is a Mass, its not dependent on the readings.

NO, NO, NO! This comes up here regularly and is a completely untrue assertion. Canon law states that in order to fulfull one’s obligation to attend Mass on a Sunday or holy day, one must attend Mass on the day or on the previous evening. Absolutely NO mention whatsoever is made of readings. ANY Mass suffices to fulfill the obligation. Anyone who claims otherwise is adding conditions to the law that do not exist.

§1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite either on a holy day itself or on the evening of the previous day (canon 1248).

There’s no such condition. The readings don’t have to be those of Sunday. Any Mass within the proper timeframe satisfies the obligation.

Makes me think now if the readings for Eastern Rites are the same as those in the Latin Church. Anyone know?

Absolutely not true. I don’t know where people continue to get this idea.

I did some additional checking and discovered I was not mistaken.

The Readings

357.* For Sundays and solemnities, three readings are assigned: that is, from a Prophet, an Apostle, and a Gospel. By these the Christian people are brought to know the continuity of the work of salvation according to the God’s wonderful plan. These readings should be followed strictly.* During the Easter Season, according to the tradition of the Church, instead of the reading from the Old Testament, the reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.

"Redemptionis Sacramentum"

  1. In selecting the biblical readings for proclamation in the celebration of Mass, the norms found in the liturgical books are to be followed,136 so that indeed “a richer table of the word of God will be prepared for the faithful, and the biblical treasures opened up for them.”137

  2. It is also illicit to omit or to substitute the prescribed biblical readings on one’s own initiative, and especially “to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God.”

I also spoke with a Liturgist who told me I was correct. The only way for a Saturday Mass to meet the criteria for our Sunday obligation is that it has to be after 4:00 p.m. AND the Sunday readings, chosen by the office of Divine Worship in Rome, MUST BE USED.

Sorry guys.

Yes, if the *intent *is to celebrate the Mass of Sunday, Sunday’s readings should be used.

But if the *intent *is to celebrate a nuptial Mass, there is leeway in the choice of readings. And if the celebration of that nuptial Mass is appropriately timed, it can satisfy the obligation to assist at Mass on Sunday.

Your liturgist was mistaken.


The readings for Sunday must be used at a Sunday Mass, obviously. But any Mass, celebrated on ‘liturgical’ Sunday (after 4 p.m. on Saturday) fulfills your obligation. It could be a wedding Mass or a funeral Mass as long as it’s Mass.

If Christmas falls on Saturday I could go to Mass Christmas morning and fulfill my Christmas obligation and to Mass on Christmas night and fulfill my Sunday obligation. They could both be Christmas Masses.

In fact, I am pretty sure they would both *necessarily *be Christmas Masses.


In order for a Mass on Saturday to fulfill your Sunday obligation the USCCB and “Redemptionis Sacramentum” states that the assigned readings for that Sunday must be used. The reason your Christmas night fulfills your Sunday obligation is because the Sunday readings are used, not the “Christmas Morning” readings.

As far as the Grace recieved from attending Mass, yes, a Mass is a Mass, but that would the same as saying you can go to Mass on Wednesday morning and think it will fulfill your Sunday obligation. It doesn’t work that way. The Office of Divine Worship in the Vatican has specifically assigned readings for Sundays for specific reasons and those readings are not to be changed. I would prefer to believe the USCCB and The Vatican. I think I will also go with my Liturgist who is one of the most well educated Priests I know. If you want I would be happy to check with my Bishop but I know what he will tell me, nothing I don’t already know.

Now, just because, perhaps, your priest doesn’t know or doesn’t abide by these rules, doesn’t mean the rules don’t exist. It just means he is not, or doesn’t know he isn’t following the rules of the Church, and the Vatican Office of Divine Worship. That falls under the catagory of, “Just because everybody does it, doesn’t make it right.”

The Church does not impose that requirement to fulfill the obligation. It simply says one has to attend Mass on the Holy Day of Obligation (Sunday being one) or the evening before. It doesn’t say that the Mass being celebrated the evening before has to be the Mass of the holy day. That would be like saying that attending an Ordination Mass on Sunday doesn’t satisfy our Sunday obligation.

Again, the pertinent canon is
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.


*In order for a Mass *to be a festive Mass of Sunday the USCCB and “Redemptionis Sacramentum” states that the assigned readings for that Sunday must be used.

There is a difference between a Mass fulfilling the Sunday obligation and a Mass being a festive Mass of Sunday.

As I posted above, I am pretty sure a Mass on Saturday 25-Dec is prohibited from using the Sunday readings (for the Feast of the Holy Family), regardless of the time of day it is celebrated.

Of course it doesn’t – Nothing in Canon Law nor elsewhere in the Church’s teaching would lead anyone to believe so?


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