Unusual Mass Time

This parish is celebrating its first Mass for the Assumption today at 1 pm. See the attached newsletter. It’s my understanding the earliest the first Mass could be is in the evening. I don’t think 1 pm counts as evening. It also appears that the Mass pro populo for the parishioners on this holy day is this 1 pm Mass.

The calendar appears to say that the Mass for August 14th at 1 p.m. is the celebration for St. Maximilian Kolbe, and the Assumption masses are on August 15th at 1 and 6 p.m. I don’t see a vigil for the Assumption at 1 p.m.

You’re quite right!!!

I must wear my glasses when using the computer:o

I believe the bishops in the UK define “evening” differently than they do in the US. I’ve seen other comments on CAF that they consider noon to be acceptable as “evening.” In the US I think 4pm is about the earliest time. Other bishops’ conferences probably use other times of day.

If you attend the EF, you’ll find all kind of crazy times – usually in the evening and in the ghetto – no one goes and it is then proclaimed “There’s no interest” , but not so much in the EF, but rather the odd time or the seedy neighborhood, IMO.

The strangest Mass time was back in the 1980’s – I went to an 11:00 PM Mass on Sunday (Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA) – AFAIK, it was a regularly scheduled Mass for college students.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of noon as “evening”. Each year I buy two diocesan directories. Both give Mass times for Sundays (Saturday evening/Sunday) in the dioceses. There isn’t one earlier than 5 pm. But, that’s only two dioceses out of 20+.

I think it’s great when unusual Mass times or Bible study times are used to work with the schedules of students. When school starts up there is a 9PM Bible study during the academic year on Sunday Night in my City.

Glad the posters were able to clarify the Mass Time confusion for the OP.

Peace in Christ,

The Hebrew approach to time (still used by most Jews to mark the Sabbath) is that the day ran until sunset (effectively 6pm). After that was the vigil of the next day - so the date changed at sunset. The early Church used that system as did the Celtic church in Britain. That’s why we say that Jesus rose on the third day even though he died on a Friday afternoon and rose on a Saturday night.

The Greek and Roman approach was to use the system we are now familiar with. The day runs until midnight when the date changes. Much of the early Church was Greek-speaking and this system was gradually adopted along with changing the Sabbath to Sunday. By the time of Constantine and the Nicene Councils, this was standard.

The reintroduction of Vigil Masses is an acknowledgement of the old Calendar. They should not start before sunset or 6pm (whichever is earlier). However, a certain amount of leeway is tolerated. I was recently at sea and unable to attend Sunday Mass because there was no priest on board. I was able to attend Mass on the Monday morning in Spain, knowing that it was still Sunday in Honolulu.

The Byzantine Churches still follow the ancient practice. Vespers is completed around sunset. It ends with the particular Sunday’s hymn. Matins is supposed be prayed at sunrise (now it is usually done an hour before Mass). The Prime starts at 7am, Terce at 9am, and Mass follows at approximately between 10am and 11am. Sext starts at 12pm.

Mass is celebrated after the rising of the sun because, traditionally (except for Pascha/Easter) the Sacraments were to be celebrated during daylight. This is because John 9:4 says, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

The above is still the Byzantine standard (though it is not always followed perfectly).

My parents have told me that when they were young (1940s & 1950s), there was a parish in Detroit that had a “Printers’ Mass” at 2:30am on Sunday morning. This Mass allowed the newspaper printers to attend Mass after their shift printing the Sunday paper. Mom and Dad said the Mass was also attended by police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel who had odd shifts. And many times there were whole bridal parties, who found it easier to attend Mass after a long day/evening of partying (still in their wedding attire) so they could sleep in on Sunday morning.

What a great idea the 2:30 Am Mass!~ One thoughtful Priest that said that Mass.
I find that so endearing for some reason .

A parish downtown also used to have a printers’ Mass at 2:00 a.m.

I doubt neither you nor your parents; however, a Mass at that time would have been in contravention of the code of canon law in force at the time: 1917 Code. Mass couldn’t begin earlier than one hour before dawn.

That could mean that even the early morning Masses we had when I was a kid (5:30) would be more than an hour before dawn in the winter here.

My father’s landlady from San Diego during WWII told us that they had permission to have a Saturday Vigil (or anticipation) during the war and my dad liked it so he could go out dancing afterward. This must have been a special dispensation because of the was (not so Dad could go dancing)
Another hearsay: My BIL says that while growing up in Colorado they had a Noon Saturday Mass that 'counted" (must have been in the early 70’s or so)

It would but I don’t know whether there was some special permission there.

It might have been to allow your father to go dancing:)

The canon says Mass can begin up to an hour after noon (I don’t know why it just didn’t say 1.00 pm).

Just to add to your point about why Jesus rose on the third day. I used to wonder about it while young as I count only 33 hours between 3pm Friday and midnight Saturday. The ancient Hebrews have an odd way of counting, where the first and last items are calculated as part of the intervals. 2010 to 2011 is an interval of 2 years. January to June is an interval of 7 months. So, Friday to Sunday is an interval of 3 days. We still have such a holdover with the definition of the octave being an interval of 8 notes even though you can count only 7 spaces between the first and last notes.

Also, I understand that the Classical Greeks define the day as starting from sunrise to sunrise the next day (the most logical to me - the Latin way of midnight to midnight being the most messy). Can someone confirm this? If so, how did the Greek church followed the Latin church in this regard?

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