Saturday vigil Mass

Do you need a special reason to go to the Saturday evening mass instead of on Sunday, or is it ok to go on Saturday just because you’d rather go then?


No, you do not need a special reason. The vigil Mass on Saturday evening is the same as any other Sunday Mass.

Thank you for replying.

I remember reading somehwere that a community can add a Saturday vigil mass if enough reasons speak for it. That’s what made me think.

But probably once the mass is added the faithful themselves don’t need to have a special reason to attend it.


You can go to any Mass you choose to on Sat. evening or on Sunday without having a reason for that choice, and your Mass obligation will be fulfilled. This is Church Law. So if you would rather go on Saturday, go then. And please do not listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, listen to the Church.

Sundown Saturday is considered Sunday in Jesus’ time

More to the point, what time does the local bishop says is the earliest that Sunday Masses may be celebrated. This is usually about 4-5 pm Saturday regardless as to whether the sun has set.

Technically, a Saturday evening Mass that celebrates the following Sunday’s liturgy is not a “vigil” but rather an “anticipatory” or “anticipated” Mass. A vigil is a separate liturgy entirely.

That’s what I’ve always done so I hope you don’t need any special ‘dispensation.’ :eek:

just back from Vigil Mass and cheezburger :stuck_out_tongue:

Correct, but the term “Saturday Vigil” is something like the term “Novus Ordo”. Neither term is technically correct, but both have entered the common Catholic vocabulary and people know what is meant when the terms are used.

I prefer to use the language the Church uses. That’s why I offered the correction. I’ll also correct terms like “Eucharistic minister”. Using the proper language prevents the adoption of erroneous ideas. (It is especially important when the matter at hand is doctrinal!)

Sure, going to Mass Saturday evening can “count” for the Sunday obligation. But, we can’t forget that there is more to keeping the Lord’s Day holy than participating in Mass, and, all day Sunday is still the Lord’s Day, even if we attend a Saturday evening Mass. The “job” doesn’t end after Saturday Mass.

I only say this because I can tend to forget that, if I go to an anticipatory Mass… Sunday seems like a lazy day, not the Lord’s Day. Going to Mass on the day itself can help quash that mindlessness, at least for me.


Here’s what Pope John Paul II had to say about that in his Apostolic Letter Dies Domini

  1. Because the faithful are obliged to attend Mass unless there is a grave impediment, Pastors have the corresponding duty to offer to everyone the real possibility of fulfilling the precept. The provisions of Church law move in this direction, as for example in the faculty granted to priests, with the prior authorization of the diocesan Bishop, to celebrate more than one Mass on Sundays and holy days, the institution of evening Masses and the provision which allows the obligation to be fulfilled from Saturday evening onwards, starting at the time of First Vespers of Sunday. From a liturgical point of view, in fact, holy days begin with First Vespers. Consequently, the liturgy of what is sometimes called the “Vigil Mass” is in effect the “festive” Mass of Sunday, at which the celebrant is required to preach the homily and recite the Prayer of the Faithful.

He seems to be making it pretty clear that it’s no longer to be considered only for those who are unable to attend on Sunday morning. That used to be the case under the old 1917 Code of Canon Law, so many people still tend to think that way–in fact until I read that letter, I used to think of it like that as well.

Here’s a link to the full text.

I went to church last night, on Saturday. I thought I’d go again on Sunday and so didn’t care so much like I otherwise do about, did I miss something, etc. (Last week I fell half asleep during the homily and the priest said it was ok, more important is the gospel.) Now I am not sure if I maybe had a little tiredness attack like that during the gospel, but I don’t remember exactly. I do remember hearing the gospel. I am not sure if I fell half asleep during mass or didn’t pay so much attention somehwere. I have been ver< very tired lately.

Now it is Sunday and I didn’t make it to church this morning because I was rescuing an injured bird. In the afternoon I would like to visit a lady at the hospital, and in the evening I am invited out for dinner for my Dads birthday. Is it ok for me to not go again? Have I fulfilled my Sunday obligation?


Yes, you did.

But your tiredness attack sounds like either you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or maybe there’s a medical condition.

If this tiredness happens again, in Mass or out, have a doctor check it out.

Maybe it’s been too much anyway if I try to go to daily mass so often and get home late and have to get up early again in the morning.
I only work 8 to 2 but then I do a lot of other things especially because I usually try to make it to a mass, so I often do something in the afternoon (visit somebody, go to the library to go online for example) and then go to a mass at 6.30 or so. It depends on the day but it’s often been like that. Since I have a long way home I often get home around 8pm so I’ve pretty much been out and about all day. Maybe I go to sleep too late then, because of course there are often things to do at home too. And then have to get up early again.
And worry too much about things, yes that can make you tired too…:blush:

You should go on Sunday the Lords Day. Saturday Mass is just a post Vatican 2, modern day Mass change.

It’s legitimate to go on Saturday, so why should we not?

No reason at all. Go.

This is not true. You can’t blame Vatican II for everything you don’t like! The anticipated Mass on Saturdays was allowed for in the Apostolic Constitution “Christus Dominus” of Pope Pius XII in 1953. Long before Vatican II.

Do what ever you want. Why not celebrate Good Friday on Wednesday.

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