Why Saturday Mass?


I used to go to Mass on Saturday evening so that I could “get it over with”. That way I could wake up Sunday morning, read the paper, fix breakfast for my husband and kids and get ready for some football !

But that was years ago. When I started going to the Traditional Mass, I actually started looking forward to going to Mass on Sundays. In fact it is the highlight of my day.

How did Saturday Mass get started? It was 1967 with Pope Paull VI Euchartisticum Mysterium.

  1. Anticipating the Sunday and Feast Day Masses on the Previous Evening
    Where permission has been granted by the Apostolic See to fulfill the Sunday obligation on the preceding Saturday evening, pastors should explain the meaning of this permission carefully to the faithful and should ensure that the significance of Sunday is not thereby obscured. The purpose of this concession is in fact to enable the Christians of today to celebrate more easily the day of the resurrection of the Lord.

In other words, the purpose of Saturday Mass was in fact so that Catholics could “get it over with”.


Never understood that either. Can you switch the no work rule to Saturday too?

Besides it gets vague and confusing. Canon Law allows Saturday evening but I’ve heard of a Sat 3pm Wedding Mass count for the Sunday obligation.

To show utmost respect for God on His day, JPII asked that Catholics abstain from watching professional sports on Sunday. Mass is ok on Saturday, but I’m surprised he didn’t ban the Saturday Sabbath as well.


Have you considered the possibility that this sentence–

“The purpose of this concession is in fact to enable the Christians of today to celebrate more easily the day of the resurrection of the Lord”

–is not referring to “selfish convenience” at all, but rather, to the very real fact that many of today’s modern Christians have to WORK on Sundays, and the Saturday vigil Mass makes it possible (easier) for us to actually attend Mass?

I work in a hospital, saving lives. And I work on Saturdays and Sundays at least once a month, often more if we are short-staffed. If you are in a car accident on a Sunday, I will be there typing and crossing blood for you and your family so that you will survive to attend more Masses and serve our Lord.

I praise God for the Saturday vigil Mass not only for the above reason, but also because it gives PROTESTANTS the opportunity to attend Mass. When my husband and I were still Protestant, we began attending Saturday vigil Mass because we missed so many Sunday morning services due to my job and our daughters’ involvement with an international synchronized skating team. IF THERE HAD BEEN A PROTESTANT CHURCH at that time with a SATURDAY EVENING SERVICE, we probably would have started attending that service, and would have never entered the Catholic Mass and learned about the True Church.

Now, many Protestant churches hold Saturday evening services. So we were blessed back then.

But even so, a Protestant who is seeking to learn about the Catholic Church can attend Mass on Saturday night and his/her own church on Sunday morning. That’s a good thing, I would say.


Yes, Cat, we know you work hard. But you miss the OP’s point and it was a good one. It still seems as if we want to get it over with.


And what is the purpose behind early Sunday morning masses then? You think people don’t equally attend at 6, 7 or 8 am on a Sunday morning to ‘get it over with’ in precisely the same way, and have the rest of the day free for other pursuits?

I’ve been known to attend BOTH Saturday evening and Sunday morning masses on the same weekend - particularly if I’m working on the first Saturday of the month, since Saturday evening masses still fulfil the Five First Saturdays devotion given by Our Lady at Fatima.

I say thank God for 'em.


Ah, nothing like killing two birds with one stone. Aren’t the new Catholic rules great? We got those Protestants beat. :smiley:


I am so happy that Mass is offered on Saturday evening. I also work in Hospitals, as a nurse. I now work every other weekend but years ago some place made us work 3 weekends out of 4 and at that time there was no Saturday mass. We were told if we were caring for the sick or dying that we did not suffer Mortal sin for missing Mass but we still missed Mass and receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. Now like Christmas Eve Mass we can go on “Sunday Eve” I am so happy about that. DonnaG:)


Actually not - since as I said I go on the Sunday morning as well if that’s the case. But it’s good to have that option there when I do work on Saturday, otherwise I’d miss out completely.


I didn’t attend Saturday Mass until the fall of 1970 when I met my good friend when we both worked together at a drug store. There was a parish in our local archdiocese for which the 4:30 pm Saturday evening Mass would be over by 5 at the latest. Sad to say we availed ourselves of this until I enlisted in the Navy in 1971. When I came back in 1974, there were not one but two parishes in our locale for which the Saturday afternoon Mass was a 25-30 minute event.

These are the years, my brothers and sisters, immediately after Vatican II. My friend and I were both graduates of Catholic high schools taught by the same order. (Although he went to the bad boy school across the state line).

My point is that the “easings” of Vatican II were not viewed as “easings” but rather as a wholesale, “throw the barn doors open, the cows have escaped” type of thing. It was just that quick. It really was just that quick.

He’s still my oldest friend even though we both have sons in their 20s. We were 19 once and young. We were part of the “springtime” of Vatican II. Both of us regret what we did.


Liturgically, a feast begins the evening before. Thats why in the LOTH you’ll find that Saturday’s evening prayer is “Sunday Evening Prayer I” and the same for all vigils of Feasts.

This probably goes back to the Israelites, Sabbath began on Friday evening.

So it kinda makes sense why Saturday Masses can be celebrated and fulfill the Sunday Obligation.


I can remember going to Sunday Evening Mass and someone saying to me,"yeah,you’re better going on Sunday morning,gets it over with."This was before the Saturday Vigil was available.
It is not just the Saturday Evening attenders who have that attitude.
Previous to that remark being made to me,i used to take hassle from my mother for sleeping late on Sunday morning.She used to say that Sunday Evening Mass was for people who worked in the essential services and were obliged to work on Sunday morning,
not for someone like me who only worked Monday to Friday.
However,i have never been a great sleeper and tended to
lose sleep during the week when i had to get up and go to work.
Evening Mass at the weekend was a good opportunity to catch up on lost sleep.
Our local Convent used to have a 7.15am Mass on weekdays which i seldom attended.I preferred to go to the 1pm or 5.15pm
Mass in St.Andrew’s Cathedral near where i worked.I just had an extra sandwich at my morning tea break,so i could go without my lunch break.Even on weekdays i wasn’t keen on Morning Masses.


no, the purpose of the Church is to enable Christians more easily to celebrate the Resurrection day of the Lord.
Your purpose was to “get it over with” don’t by extension apply that motive to others, because you have no idea what their motives are. For most people the motive may be work schedules, now that so many businesses are open on Sunday.


So has this happened? So why have businesses flourished on Sundays if all this “ease” in celebrating the Resurrection?


I sometimes go to Mass on Saturday instead of Sunday, but it is NOT because I want to get it over with.It’s just a sort of habit I got into.However, sometimes theres no choir on Saturdays, and they tend to have political sermons which I don’t comprehend.So lately Ive been going on Sunday, which is actually even more fun.


To call Saturday Eveing Mass easier never had a whole passel of children.:slight_smile: Ever try to get 4 or more young children cleaned and ready to go on a beautiful Saturday summer afternoon;)
The main point is YOU are to fulfill YOUR Sunday Obligation, whether it be Saturday eveing or Sunday Morning, not sit there and judge the other person as to what they are doing.
If you find Sunday better for you then by all means attend Sunday.


I think it is a very uncharitable thing to assume that people want to “get Mass over with.”

We all know people who say that. May the Lord rebuke them.

I like to assume the best of people, that most people attend Mass because they long to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I suppose I’m just a silly ninny to assume that Catholics really do love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

If I honestly believed such bad things about Catholics that several of you seem to believe, I would quit this Church and start my own “perfect” Church. Honestly, I don’t see how you can be so hyper-critical of people that you don’t even know. I feel sorry for you and your critical, judgemental spirit.


I have to say, I love going to Saturday mass. In our parish, the Saturday mass is attended mostly by older parishioners who aren’t bringing a lot of children and crying babies. :smiley: Hence, it’s quieter and more reverent, at least for me.

I will also say that our parish has about 10,000 families registered to it, and EVERY mass is standing room only. We have two Saturday masses, plus another Saturday mass in Spanish, and I can’t imagine trying to fit those people into the four Sunday masses we already have.

I also believe that if Saturday mass weren’t offered, people who have plans on Sunday might forgo mass completely. Granted, that may not be the best scenario (“I’ll just get it over with on Saturday”), but at least they are attending, hearing the Word of God, receiving the Sacrament and obtaining some grace.

And as an aside, our confessions are offered on Saturday before mass, and I love being able to confess then immediately receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.


I agree - and it sure seems easy for some to forget that whole The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath thing…


Why not Saturday Mass? As others have pointed out, the Jewish sabbath begins at sundown the evening before, so what’s the big deal? If I were there simply to “get it over with,” I’d go to the first Mass on Sunday, not Saturday afternoon where I have to stop whatever I am doing and interrupt my day. I choose to go on Saturday because I prefer being there when there are fewer people around me (esp. squirmy little kids), and because after 30+ years of working second and third shift as a nurse, I am more awake and alert in the late afternoon than I am in the early morning. If you have a problem with Mass on Saturday, then go on Sunday, but don’t judge us Saturday-attendees for going when we choose.


:thumbsup: great point. I think if more of us would stop nick-picking on when and what type of Mass everyone else goes to and what they wear and concentrate on they own Souls maybe we all be better off;)

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