Sunday Mass or any Mass on Sunday?

A nun friend of mine celebrated a 25 anniversary of her permanent vows.

She invited me, this past Sunday, to a Mass held at a convent, inside a basketball court, where they placed an altar, a crucifix, candles, chairs, etc.

At Mass, the Sunday Readings were not read, but other Readings she chose.

That made me rather uncomfortable :hmmm:because I understand that Sunday Readings should never be changed, except if a Solemnity such as Christmas is on Sunday.

After the homily there was no Creed. :confused:

That did it. I thought: this is not Sunday Mass and if I stay here I will not fulfill the Church precept of attending Sunday Mass.

So since I was seating at the back, I went out unnoticed and left during the Offertory.

I went to Mass at a nearby parish, where I arrived well before the Sunday Mass began, and could even stay for a delicious quiet time of prayer before the Tabernacle after Mass.

I was very glad I took the decision to go there. :slight_smile:

I told my sister what had happened, and she said I should have stayed at my friend’s Mass. She says Mass is Mass, and it doesn’t make a difference if Sunday Readings were read or not, or if the priest skipped the Creed. :rolleyes:

But I remember I once heard a priest say that if, for example, one goes to a wedding Mass on a Saturday evening, that does not fulfill the obligation to attend Sunday Mass the next day.

So, I decided to ask you guys your opinion.

What do you think, was I too scrupulous or did I do the right thing?


Any Mass on Sunday.


On the face of it, the Mass as you describe it sounds to be all kinds of illicit. (“In a convent, on a basketball court” is weird enough, btw.) But it was a valid Mass offered by a priest in union with Rome, and therefore fulfilled your Sunday obligation. Your friend is correct, and the priest is wrong about a Saturday evening Nuptial Mass.

I probably would have also attended a later Sunday Mass for the sake of my own sanity.

Very seldom, in our parish, do we sing or recite the Creed. When I went to the cathedral for the Solemnity of the Assumption, we did recite the Creed.

I make the Creed a part of my daily prayer. Sadly, it’s omitted (and the Sign of Peace switched to just after the Gloria - a 15-20 minute Sign of Peace most Sundays) most Sundays.

Consider yourself lucky if you attend Mass at a parish that follows the liturgy as found in the Roman Missal…


The Sunday obligation is fulfilled by attending any Mass on Sunday or any Mass on Saturday evening. The readings are not relevant to fulfill the obligation.

You walked out on your friend’s jubilee Mass? Really??

Even if you wanted to attend another Mass – which you had no obligation to do – you couldn’t have gone later so that you could celebrate this major event with your friend? Wow.

Why is it weird? New parish in my town that does not have it’s own Church rents an elementary school for Sunday Mass and it’s held in the gym. My own parish has 2 Masses going on at the same time on Christmas & Easter, one in the church, other in the multi-purpose room, which is also a gymn.

Dioecese of Des Moines has Sunday Mass on the Iowa St. Fairgrounds. Would you think it’s weird to have Mass there as well? If you are on Facebook, here are pictures:!/media/set/?set=a.10151600530094157.1073741856.182383409156&type=1

This was my first thought too!

Mine too.

I hope this wasn’t a close friend.

I can’t believe you walked out on a friend’s celebration of her vocation because of the readings that were selected and the omission of the Creed. Second-guessing at least one religious and one priest (and probably several more than that, since permission almost certainly had to be sought to celebrate this Mass in this location) in details of the form of Mass is very much a sign of scrupulosity. There is a very good chance that this specific Mass had been approved in the form you were seeing it, and that nothing illicit was occurring.

I hope for her sake that she didn’t see you leave, because personally I would be hurt by someone who did something like that on a major life/faith milestone for me.

I understand your worry about missing Sunday mass but there were really no problems. The readings do not make the obligation and the priest who told you about the wedding mass on Saturday afternoon/evening was incorrect so you were simply misinformed. I’m so sorry that your worries made you skip out on your friend’s special celebration.

The priest may have been right. It depends what he said. If the Saturday wedding was at 2 o’clock, then mass would be over by 3. This would be a Saturday mass, not a Sunday mass.

If, however, the nuptial mass was at 5, over by 6, this would fulfill the Sunday obligation.

I believe, here in Washington, the mass must begin after 4 PM to fulfill the Sunday obligation. Or maybe the mass has to end after 4 PM. But before 4, it’s Saturday.

IMO, you did not do the right thing, and should probably educate yourself a little about the Mass. The readings may differ from the Sunday readings for certain Masses, attending a wedding Mass or any other kind of Mass on Sat evening fulfills the Sunday obligation, the readings do not have to be the Sunday readings if it is a Mass for such a purpose, and furthermore, the Creed may be omitted under certain circumstances if there is a renewal of baptismal promises, but I don’t know if that applies here or if that was done. In any case, not having the Creed does not invalidate the Mass. Then there is the matter of Christian charity involving your friend. Perhaps an apology is in order, but that is a judgment you have to make.

I can understand being scrupulous and worrying about this, you really did not mean any harm, and you weren’t aware of some things, but it is your responsibility now to educate yourself on these things and not go by “feelings”, esp. if you are scrupulous, because those “feelings” cannot always be trusted. There is very little that can make the Mass invalid (and that is a good one to look up), and illicit and invalid are two different things. Also, too many people don’t have the facts straight about what the Church teaches, it is best to go to an official source. It is very easy today with the internet to do a web search and come up with official Church documents if there is a concern or question.

Everyone makes mistakes, you did not commit a sin, so don’t worry about it. You were not acting out of malice.

Your sister is correct.

This is not correct. You must have misheard.

Yes, you were being scrupulous.

If the anniversary Mass was a first class votive Mass it could replace the Sunday Mass.

All Masses on Sunday should have the Creed. During the Mass, was there any renewal of vows? I think, possibly, that could replace the Creed.

It wasn’t the Mass of the Sunday. It was Mass on Sunday; therefore, it fulfilled the precept.

So, with that Mass you didn’t fulfil your obligation.

At least you fulfilled your Sunday Mass.

That’s correct a Mass celebrated on Sunday fulfils the obligation. It doesn’t have to be the Mass of Sunday. You can fulfil your obligation in any Catholic Church: Eastern, Latin or Oriental. Within any of those churches you can fulfil your obligation in a Eucharistic Celebration in any liturgical rite. If you’d gone to the Holy Qurbana at the Syriac Catholic Church you’d have met your obligation and I’m quite sure they’d not have been celebrating the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

That is not correct. The obligation to go to Mass is canonical. We are bound to go to Mass according to Church law. The obligation isn’t liturgical. We don’t have to fulfil the obligation by attending the Mass of Sunday.

On balance I would say on this occasion you were probably being a little scrupulous.

Can we please be a little gentler! I honestly do not think the OP walked out of this Mass because she disliked her friend! They did this out of ignorance and scrupulosity not anything else. Yes, it is a shame but it was not purposely done.

Yes it was. You don’t walk out of Mass by accident.

I had a feeling using those words would be a problem. I understand walking out of the Mass was purposely done but the reason for purposely walking out was not to intend harm to someone. Do they need to educate themselves so this does not happen again? Yes. Do they need to deal with their scrupulosity? Yes. Could and should they have stayed at the Mass and gone to a Mass later and afterwards instead of leaving? Yes. But all in all this was not done with full knowledge.

Can we please be a little gentler! I honestly do not think the OP walked out of this Mass because she disliked her friend! They did this out of ignorance and scrupulosity not anything else. Yes, it is a shame but it was not purposely done.


Thank you, Zooman77 for your gentleness and for not being judgmental like others.

The nun is not a close friend, I’ve chatted with her a couple of times at her convent, where I go to pray. Nevertheless I like her and I wanted to celebrate that special ocasion with her, but as you guys all said I was wrong and scrupulous thinking I was not fulfilling my Sunday obligation.

You walked out on your friend’s jubilee Mass? Really??
Even if you wanted to attend another Mass – which you had no obligation to do – you couldn’t have gone later so that you could celebrate this major event with your friend? Wow.

I left because I was not able to go to an evening Mass.

The Mass was supposed to start at 12pm, but it started almost at 1pm. I left fifteen minutes before 2pm in order to attend the 2pm Mass at the parish.

She did not see me leave and she probably did not miss me among the crowd later because we are not really close. Anyway, next time I see her I will apologize to her for not staying until the end.

I was happy I went to Sunday Mass, now I’m sad I left. :frowning:

The good thing is that if I am ever in a similar situation, I’ll know better and will not leave.

I thank you all for making me see I did the wrong thing.


How? The OP asked questions. They were answered. You can’t complain because you don’t like the correct answers to your questions.

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