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December 23, 2006

Comments

Ed Peters

Correct as usual. People are funny, thinking some Masses are extra-stength, capable of slaying double obligations with a single rite, etc. :)

bill912

I remember a fellow Catholic once telling me of a Vigil Mass "This is a two-fer." I explained the facts to him, but his reply was "Well, it is for me." I've always wondered Whom he thought he was fooling.

Dr. Eric

Himself... :(

Dr. Eric

Many people I know count a 2 pm wedding on Saturday as fulfilling the Sunday obligation.

At least they go to church other than the big three times per year:

Christmas, Easter, and Ash Wednesday!

Freydaddy

This year my son was assigned as Altar server at our 10 a.m. Saturday Mass. So we'll go then and to a late Saturday and a Monday Mass! Feeling mighty Holy!

SteveV

But you do gotta go to Mass twice this weekend, once to celebrate Our Lord's Resurrection and one to celebrate his Birth.

But when Christmas falls on a Sunday, we don't go twice. We celebrate his birth and resurrection together.

Phil M.

Is this the case for every Holy day of obligation? Our Bishop will declare that a Holy day will be celebrated on the closest Sunday if it's within 2 or 3 days. Thus, Ascension Thursday is always celebrated the following Sunday. Thankfully, he's not doing this for the Christmas masses.

I know the Bishops have some leeway with this, but how much?

Annalucia

This year I get to go to 8 am Mass on Sunday (Christmas Eve) here in Chicago, then I fly to Salt Lake City and will go to Christmas Midnight Mass at the Cathedral there.

No, I'm not trying to set a long-distance record for Masses heard within a 24-hour period. I'm going to visit oldest daughter, son-in-law and rampaging-toddler grandson.

Merry Christmas to Jimmy and all commenters here...

Arieh

I look forward to going to two masses on the same day. I will be going to an 11am TLM and an NO midnight mass. I will be massed out!!

Richard Mueller

Too confusing
High Culture/low culture nonsense
make a clear rule

Not to sound Protestant but I don't think God will mind if one in error or even in good conscience goes to Mass once
The SPIRIT of the law NOT the LETTER of the LAW
Don't become like the Pharisees

Mary Kay

But Richard, there is a very major difference between the 4th Sunday of Advent (anticipation) and Christmas (celebration of the the Nativity).

That distinction is much greater than just a rule.

Sylvia

It's funny because I just finished a very confusing conversation about this very subject before I came and read this...

Tim J.

"But Richard, there is a very major difference between the 4th Sunday of Advent (anticipation) and Christmas (celebration of the the Nativity)."

I found that the easiest and clearest way to express it, Mary Kay.

Have a blessed Christams, all!

SDG

But Richard, there is a very major difference between the 4th Sunday of Advent (anticipation) and Christmas (celebration of the the Nativity).

True -- but the Christmas Eve Mass can suffice for either the Sunday obligation or the Christmas obligation, so it isn't quite as cut and dried as that.

In other words, you can "anticipate" Christmas on Saturday night or Sunday morning, and then celebrate the Nativity on Christmas Eve, or you can "anticipate" Christmas on Christmas Eve, and then celebrate the Nativity on Christmas Day.

That do seem a little funny. And since a single Mass would certainly suffice for both obligations when Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday ("slaying double obligations with a single rite"!), it does seem a bit odd that the law doesn't actually mean what it seems to mean in the present case.

I agree with the "Make a clear rule" POV. :-)

Fr. John Pecoraro

Richard,

Gee, I suppose that as a priest I should only have to keep the spirit of chastity, poverty obedience, and commitment, God won't mind if I relieve my self of the responsibility every now and then. How about an airline pilot? Perhaps if he was stressed it would be ok for that person to have an occasional adult beverage before a flight, Im sure if the passengers really understood the stress in his life they wouldn't mind. Richard, assuming that you are Catholic you belong in a particular way to the Body of Christ and are a son of the Father, and while it may not be the most pure motivation you have a duty to your Father and family. GO

Josh

I think it's certainly one thing if someone is ignorant of the fact that you can't get a "two-for-one" by going to Mass Sunday evening, but if you know that it does not fulfil both obligations, then you cannot in good faith simply refuse to go to two Masses. To fulfil the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is one of the precepts of the Church, and they are grave matter. Remember, "Whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven."

Fr. John Pecoraro

Josh, it seems from Richard's argument that your answer may not be compelling to him although very true.

michigander

Sort of related topic... my church regularly has Saturday evening mass (for Sunday obligation) and a Sunday evening mass (also for Sunday obligation), but the Sunday night mass is later than the Saturday evening mass, meaning "Sunday" (Saturday evening to Sunday evening, the time period in which you can fullfill the Sunday obligation at my church) is actually longer than 24 hours. How does that work? How early can Saturday mass be in order to still count as Sunday obligation?

Augustine

Our bishop made it pretty clear: http://austindiocese.org/newsletter_issue_view.php?id=74#4. Yet I wish that this had been printed in the Sunday bulletin...

Merry Christmas.

Monica

Our pastor told my neighbor she could do the 'two=fer' but that was, I think, because they had overscheduled her family in participation at the Christmas Masses, with one lectoring at the early vigil, another at the midnight mass, and a third family member cantoring at at least 2 of them, so he may have given her dispensation out of guilt. We're scheduling our Sunday and Monday obligations around (i.e. away from) the Hootenany Mass and going for the better music.

Anthony English

In Australia prior to 2001 a holy day of obligation that fell on a Saturday or a Monday just got dropped. The feast was kept but the obligation to attend Mass wasn't. Thankfully this was changed:

" ... in addition to all the Sundays of the year, the only feast days henceforth to be observed in Australia as holydays of obligation are the solemnities of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Moreover, these two holydays of obligation are to be observed annually, regardless of the day of the week on which they fall."
http://www.acbc.catholic.org.au/bc/liturgy/2001082312.htm

Mary Kay

SDG, actually this is something that is very clearly cut and dried.

You're using the word "anticipation" to mean two very different things.

A Vigil Mass is said to "anticipate" the day, which is the meaning you seem to be saying.

But the anticipation I referred to is the focus of the Advent Masses themselves.

The General Norms for the Liturgical Year says, "Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ's first coming is remembered; as a season that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation." (emphasis was mine)

The earlier part of the Advent season is about awaiting Christ's second coming, but the days of Dec. 17-24 specifically prepared for the Nativity on the 25th.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent is necessary to complete the preparation for Christmas.

There is no way that one Mass can fulfill the obligation for both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas.

Mary Kay

Jimmy, I just read your explanation and have to disagree with the application.

But since it's 4:30 am here (my upstairs neighbor having woken me up an hour ago) and I have 3 Masses to attend in less than 24 hours, my discussion today will be brief.

Maybe as springboard example, my day today will be Sunday morning Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (with choir practice afterwards, otherwise I would have gone Saturday). Then back to church for the 4:30 Mass, anticipation of Christmas, then back for Midnight Mass.

Gabriel

Just a question, in a way related.

I've always thought you can receive communion only once a day. So if I attend mass early this morning (4th sunday of Advent) and then go for Christmas Vigil, can I receive communion again?

Merry Christmas!

Gabriel

Fr. John Pecoraro

Gabriel, Yes you can, since it is a vigil which is liturgically the next day. You could also receive communion twice if you were assisting at a funeral or a wedding mass, or say for instance a extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. (this is not exhaustive)

JohnS

So much easier if you just attend daily Mass whenever you can. Then you don't have to keep the rules straight. :)

Andy

You are eager to use Canon 19 to make your own sense out of 1248, but what about 18, which states Canon 1248 states:

"Laws which establish a penalty or restrict the free exercise of rights or which contain an exception to the law are subject to a strict interpretation."

Strict interpretation sounds pretty clear to me.

Mary

Thank you Jimmy for making it all so clear! After having a tantrum for a moment, because I had been planning on only going to Sundays 3:30pm Mass, and this was going to make things more difficult. (I've been in bed for two days w/ the flu and have alot of catching up to do.) I do have so much to be thankful for. For a merciful Father who shows me my tantrums, usually very quickly. And praise God for this sudden unexpected good health, that I am able to go and worship Him and celebrate with my family. And thank you Father John for being so direct, fufilling the role given to you even though some may not like it. "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us."

Jimmy Akin

Mary,

Glad this helped, though if you are still sick--if you *might* give the flu to someone, particularly an old person with a weak immune system--then DO NOT GO TO MASS.

Mary

I know the Bishops have some leeway with this, but how much?

Lots. In fact, lots and lots.

Note that holy days are matters of discipline and not dogma, so the question is what is good for the people -- and it's a prudential judgment.

SDG

SDG, actually this is something that is very clearly cut and dried. You're using the word "anticipation" to mean two very different things. A Vigil Mass is said to "anticipate" the day, which is the meaning you seem to be saying. But the anticipation I referred to is the focus of the Advent Masses themselves.

You bolster your case by citing from the General Norms for the Liturgical Year. My comments were made with respect to canon law, which does seem ambiguous.

Look at it this way. At Christmas Eve Mass tonight, there will be some people who are satisfying their Sunday obligation, but not their Christmas obligation -- while other people will be satisfying their Christmas obligation, but not their Sunday obligation. They're sitting side by side at the same Mass, but satisfying different obligations while leaving different obligations unsatisfied. Doesn't that seem at least odd, even if it's correct?

For all of these people, there is an obligation to attend Mass at some other point at any time from Saturday evening to Monday night. That's, like, a 50-plus hour window. I'm not objecting to whatever the Church wants us to do, I just think it's odd.

Josh

Merry Christmas everyone!

Our Bishop (Dio. of Wichita) made it pretty clear as well that one must attend both the normative Sunday Mass as well as a Christms Eve or Christmas Day Mass to fulfill the necessary obligation.

Also, in my parish (St. Mary's Cathedral), our "Midnight Mass" is at 10:30 pm this year, as KSN (channel 3 Wichita) is brodcasting it live, followed right after by a Mass from the Vatican.

And nary a peep from anyone who might have feelings against the idea.

I'm serving at the 5 pm Vigil tonight, and will probably watch the 10:30, or parts of it, because our choir and music is just awesome.

Mary Kay

At Christmas Eve Mass tonight, there will be some people who are satisfying their Sunday obligation, but not their Christmas obligation -- while other people will be satisfying their Christmas obligation, but not their Sunday obligation. They're sitting side by side at the same Mass, but satisfying different obligations while leaving different obligations unsatisfied. Doesn't that seem at least odd, even if it's correct?

SDG, that's the nub of it. (I missed it in your first post.) It's not correct that some people will satisfy their Sunday obligation. Anyone attending 4 pm or later is attending a Christmas Mass. If that's their first Mass of the weekend, then they missed the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

The liturgical calendar is very clear. A Mass is one liturgical season or the other. This is one of those and/or not both.

Mary Kay

italics off.

Fr Martin Fox

Mary Kay:

No, I disagree. Jimmy had it right: if you attend Mass on Sunday -- at any time (including the liturgical time "extension" onto Saturday evening, that fulfills the Sunday obligation. That includes a Mass for Christmas.

However, if you attend a Mass for the Vigil of Christmas to fulfill your Sunday obligation, then to fulfill your Christmas obligation, attend at midnight or after, on Christmas Day.

The "straightforward" norm that people want is already there: the mandate to keep holy the Lord's Day, and holy days of obligation. So however you do it, you participate in Mass on each day -- "day" understood liturgically as well as chronologically -- which indeed does produce two 32-hour days that overlap.

The rationale for this is that canon 18, cited by Andy, about interpreting strict regulations strictly. I.e., they are to be interpreted in the people's favor. So, in this case, the faithful are given the widest latitude.

SDG

It's not correct that some people will satisfy their Sunday obligation. Anyone attending 4 pm or later is attending a Christmas Mass. If that's their first Mass of the weekend, then they missed the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

What Fr. Martin said.

There is no specific obligation to attend "the Fourth Sunday of Advent" in that sense, since as Jimmy already pointed out out you can even attend a Mass in another rite where they wouldn't be celebrating "the Fourth Sunday of Advent" at all.

Rather, one must fulfill one's Sunday obligation, and one must fulfill one's Christmas obligation -- and, although theoretically the letter of the law might not make it clear, the "constant and common opinion of learned men" seems to indicate that the Christmas Eve Mass can suffice for one or the other of these obligations, but not both.

That may be slightly paradoxical, but it seems to be the way it is.

Mary Kay

Fr. Martin, this is an area of interest to me, so I wish I had more time. For now though, doesn't Advent end before EP1 of Christmas?

I'll be back after all the hubbub of the next 24 hours.

Matt

You won't get the "two-fer" for Christmas ... but you will get it for the Feast of Mary, Mother of God on Jan. 1st.

"Although this Solemnity is designated as a holy day of obligation, the faithful are dispensed from the obligation this year because the Solemnity falls on a Monday. However, the faithful should be encouraged to participate in the celebration of the Mass and the parish schedule of Masses for the Solemnity should encourage their participation"

Some Day

Things like these are easily resolved.
Go to mass everyday. I know that is not as easy as it sounds.
In other countries, they distribute Holy Communion without the Mass at certain times of the day so people who are busy can at least recieve the Eucharist. But in a non-Catholic country it is kind of harder, as turnouts to such oppertunities are low.

Josh

Mary Kay,

Because Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year, Second Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of Advent conflicts with First Vespers of Christmas, which takes precedence. Advent ends with the First Vespers of Christmas.

Though I generally prefer the overall layout of the old Calendar, this seems to be a better solution than that of the old Calendar, in which the Fourth Sunday of Advent is not celebrated at all, being outranked by the Vigil of the Nativity.

Merry Christmas to all!

Mary Kay

Josh, yes, thanks.

That's why I'm thinking that a Mass after 4pm today would be for Christmas and not Advent.

Richard Mueller

All too complicated.


Fr. John, NOT the same as a church rule and an unclear badly written one at that is NOT dogma, is NOT necessary for salvation
it is a rule of an overly bureacratic institution albeit with a Divine purpose
It is not in the Bible, not in the Universal Catechism, is not part of the Deposit of the Faith
--it is a confusing and badly written rule
It is NOT the same as an airplane pilot or some specific technical profession being loosey goosey

Alia

Last week, in our church bulletin, Father said straight out "we do not offer a 2-for-1 special". It then proceeded to list the Mass times which would count for the Sunday obligation and the Mass times which would count for the Christmas obligation and basically told the people choose one from column A and one from column B and then they would be set.

Of course, I play flute in two different choirs in my church, so I played at the Saturday Mass last night and our 9:30 Mass this morning. Then our Saturday choir is providing the music for the 8PM vigil tonight and our 9:30 choir is providing the music for Midnight Mass, so I'll be at church two more times tonight. We were teasing our pianist that we were going to set up a cot for her in the music room so she could catch some rest today between the Sunday morning Masses and the Christmas vigil Masses (our first one is a childrens' Mass at 5:30PM and our last morning Mass ended at noon)

Mary Kay

SDG and Fr. Martin, I see what you and Jimmy are saying. In fact, I've done that - gone to a Byzantine liturgy to satisfy the Sunday obligation. But it was in Ordinary time - and for me, a non-normal circumstance.

Two Christmas Masses (vigil and day) may be okay from a technical, legalistic standpoint this weekend. But there's something wrong with a Latin-rite Catholic skipping the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

Josh

I agree, Mary Kay. I know that for a Latin-rite Catholic, the general intention is that you assist at Masses for the liturgical day of the Latin-rite calendar, though the law is written as it is in order to not be overly burdensome. Unfortunately, there are always those who interpret Church laws and guidelines for their own perceived benefit - or at least in a manner that requires the least effort!

Stu

Why do so many people make their best efforts to avoid going to Mass?

Bender

Why do so many people make their best efforts to avoid going to Mass?

And why do we (including the Church!) use terms like "obligation" when referring to the honor and privilege and celebration of Mass, as if it is this terrible, awful burden that we must endure?

But the fact is, regardless of whatever terms the Church uses, you are not "obligated" to do anything with respect to God. Do whatever the hell you feel like doing. You don't "have" to go to Mass both Sunday and Monday. Sit at home watching TV and drinking beer and eggnog if you want. Nobody is forcing you to do anything.

Now, of course, if you don't want to spend an hour or two with Jesus, if you don't want to receive Jesus' gift of His Body on the day of giving, you just may end up finding out that, in the end, He won't oblige you to spend eternity with Him either.

If you love someone, of course you want to spend time with him or her, and you don't consider it an "obligation."

Kasia

Question - I was talking to someone who made it to Sunday Mass yesterday morning but stayed up late watching the midnight Mass from the Vatican and thus overslept and didn't make it to church this morning. (No, this isn't me.) I would assume that watching a Mass on TV could only conceivably count towards fulfilling your obligation if there were no Masses nearby for you to attend. Am I right?

Dr. Eric

Kasia,

If there are no Catholic Churches with in a reasonable distance (up to you and your Spiritual Director) then you are released from your obligation to attend Mass or another Liturgy, ie Eastern.

So if you are in the South or in Russia and there are no Catholic Churches around, you are not bound to attend any church, your Sunday Obligation is loosened.

jch

This is past the fact, but our young adult children were having this very discussion on the Friday before Christmas. At first I thought that going to Mass on Sunday evening would fulfill both obligations, then a Holy Spirit gut punch woke me up.

After listening to a very interesting and lively discussion of said children, I found a spot for me to slide into the conversation without taking it over or playing the "Mom" card, which of course happened anyway. I simply explained to them that one Mass is required for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and another one for Christmas. This has been a year of reconversions for these young adult children and a deeper understanding of the faith by my spouse, with the result that we had been praying together as a family each evening, but during Advent we lit the Advent candles. They had the picture of the one candle waiting to be lit. The young adult lady went with her parents to the Sunday vigil, then spent Christmas with close friends in another state who attended the Christmas Mass. The recently recoverted young men attended the Spanish Liturgy on both evenings. All of the added graces to the family translated into mom outdoing herself in the kitchen and dad helping with the dishes. An entire family has been quietly transformed since last Christmas. This will not make headlines, but my heart calls it a Christmas Miracle.

Mary Kay

jch, what a wonderful Christmas for you. And LOL at the "Holy Spirit gut punch."

John

Jimmy

You may want to take a look at the 1917 Code of Canon Law here in Latin, which I think would make it more clear than the loophole driven version promulated by first John XXIII and then finished by JPII

I know some Latin, but much of this is clear, and I am sure you can translate


TITULUS XIII: De diebus festis

Can 1247 §1. Dies festi sub praecepto in universa Ecclesia sunt tantum: Omnes et singuli dies dominici, festa Nativitatis, Circumcisionis, Epiphaniae, Ascensionis et sanctissimi Corporis Christi, Immaculatae Conceptionis et Assumptionis Almae Genitricis Dei Mariae, sancti Ioseph eius sponsi, Beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum, Omnium denique Sanctorum.
§2. Ecclesiastico praecepto dies festi Patronorum non subiacent; locorum autem Ordinarii possunt sollemnitatem exteriorem transferre ad dominicam proxime sequentem.
§3. Sicubi aliquod festum ex enumeratis legitime sit abolitum vel translatum, nihil inconsulta Sede Apostolica innovetur.

Can 1248. Festis de praecepto diebus Missa audienda est; et abstinendum ab operibus servilibus, actibus forensibus, itemque, nisi aliud ferant legitimae consuetudines aut peculiaria indulta, publico mercatu, nundinis, aliisque publicis emptionibus et venditionibus.

Can 1249. Legi de audiendo Sacro satisfacit qui Missae adest quocunque catholico ritu celebretur, sub dio aut in quacunque ecclesia vel oratorio publico aut semi-publico et in privatis coemeteriorum aediculis de quibus in can. 1190, non vero in aliis oratoriis privatis, nisi hoc privilegium a Sede Apostolica concessum fuerit.

Sparki

Ummmmm...maybe it's because I'm a convert, but I find it really, really, REALLY odd that people actually try to get out of going to Mass. I'd go every single day if I could (the whole working two jobs things prevents me from going more than 3-4 times a week). We don't HAVE to go to Mass; we GET to go to Mass. And the more often we go and receive our Eucharistic Lord, the better!

Monica

Sparki - sometimes we ask what our obligations are not so that we can get out of them, but to make sure we fulfill them. If I ask 'how much sugar do I have to have for these cookies?' I mean that I want to get it right so I can have good cookies. I think that's what a lot of people mean, but it does sound odd.

Patrick

Laws should be clear and precise. Vagueness in a requirment should be construed in favor of the person burdened, at least in our civilized* legal system.

* I know this word will start soemthing.

Anna

For a couple of expert opinions that say a two-fer IS allowed (or was), try reading this discussion. It's two (web)pages, and there is also some good discussion about being charitable towards those who are looking to do the minimum.

M.Z. Forrest

That is a positivism argument Patrick.

One's obligation to attend mass on holy days is abundantly clear and precise. Holy days are defined. The fact that this obligation is often dispensed can create confusion.

John

Sparki

Wonderful post-as a recent convert you may want to try and find a traditional latin mass as there one is willing to go on every holy day, willing to stay past the 40 minute express mass, willing to kneel to receive our Lord on ones tongue, willing to hold a missal and follow along in English and Latin as our forefathers did for centuries, and willing to revere our Lord and look forward to the next mass. So much of that is missing today as you pointed out and the reason why so many Catholics have either stopped attending mass, started going to the traditional masses, or even started attending Evangelical Protestant church's where the fear of hell is real and not everyone is going to heaven

Unfortunatly in its attempt to be ecumenical and not offend anyone, the mass today is meant to be inclusive and the sermons light and feel good, hence the recent papal visit to Turkey where there was no mention of the persecuted Catholics and Christians, just more feel good rhetoric

Mary Kay

John, did you get the same old hobby horse, possibly wrapped in different paper, for Christmas?

John Thayer Jensen

I'm a recent lurker, never posted here - and also a convert, so I may well not know what I am talking about, but Richard Mueller said:

"NOT the same as a church rule and an unclear badly written one at that is NOT dogma, is NOT necessary for salvation"

Please, I am just asking for information. Could someone clarify for me?

1) I thought Sunday Mass WAS a church rule;

2) I thought obedience to church rules of discipline - not just belief in dogmas - WAS necessary for salvation (assuming I understand this, of course; I am not talking about 'invincible ignorance.')

Isn't this so? If it is not, I guess I am just confused.

Christmas blessings to all from New Zealand!

jj

RC

At least there is a certain consistency here.

A priest may not offer a single Mass, having collected multiple stipends for it, and claim that he has fulfilled his obligation to the donors.

Similarly, the faithful may not attend a single Mass and claim that it fulfills both the Sunday and Christmas obligations.

This does highlight the spiritual value of each time we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

M.Z. Forrest

Can. 1246 §1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation. The following days must also be observed: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, and All Saints.

§2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

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.

§2. If participation in the eucharistic celebration becomes impossible because of the absence of a sacred minister or for another grave cause, it is strongly recommended that the faithful take part in a liturgy of the word if such a liturgy is celebrated in a parish church or other sacred place according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop or that they devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.

In understanding this, note that 1247 states that the faithful must participate in the mass on holy days of obligation and Sundays. So if a feast day follows a Sunday, we would be obligated to participate in two masses. 1246§2 notes that the bishop has authority to suppress this obligation. This authority does not rest with the faithful. Similarly the laity do not have the authority to transfer the obligation from one mass to another mass they are already obligated. 1248 notes what participation in a mass is. It is not the power to transfer obligations.

This is different from a Saturday wedding. No one is obligated to attend a wedding mass. Even if the groom and bride skip out, the mass is still valid; this would assume that it was still offered, which is admittedly doubtful in such an instance.

bill912

JTJ: As to #1, you are correct. As to #2, disobedience to Church discipline, absent a reasonable excuse, is certainly a sin, and could be a mortal sin if it fit the criteria for same.

David Deavel

This whole conversation makes me think the Church needs to rethink both vigil masses and masses after noon. The whole scenario just makes everything ridiculously complicated.

True vigil masses like Christmas Eve and the Easter vigil are fine, but the whole Saturday evening thing is essentially a way to keep Sunday and Saturday night as, not the Lord's Day, but Golf/Football/Shopping day. It also serves as an excuse for many pastors to not have a Saturday morning mass or to hear confessions. Connected to this is the need for a eucharistic fast to be re-instituted. Yes, I know, please don't tell me there is a one hour fast right now. What that essentially means is that one can be eating and drinking right up to the time one leaves for Mass since the rule is universally understood as one hour before taking communion. If any sort of fasting rule is ever reinstituted, the evening/night mass will fall, since many people eat supper before them. True vigil masses could then have a day of fasting beforehand and make for a real feast.

But I'm sure I'm in the minority on this one and will be called a Pharisee or somesuch.

bill912

No, David, you don't come across as a Pharisee. You make a lot of sense, but there are good reasons for the Saturday Vigil Mass. There are those of us (like me) who work alternating shifts with rotating days off. When I am working weekends(which is most of the time), I work from 7AM to 3PM one week, and from 3PM to 11PM the next. If there were no Vigil Mass, there would be many times, when I am working the day shift, that I could not attend Sunday Mass due to my duties.

Mary Kay

David, I would second what Bill says about those can't always get to Sunday Mass (I used to work in a hospital). But I have to admit that doesn't explain the packed Saturday Masses.

John

The packed Saturday masses, when I was in my youth, was what I and many other teenagers of my day used as a meeting place to tell our parents we were going to church, we stood in the back and chattered on and on, as I am sure many of the Saturday masses are still today. Then after mass the group went off and some did things like drink beer and others like me played basketball

It was only until some many years later in my late 30's did I realize the errors in my way when I learned about the faith and that I needed to participate and revere our Lord

Been reading a book written in the 1950's and it references saint after saint who stated how the devil hates so much the sacrifice of the mass and reverence towards the mass and Our Lord. And then of course no sooner did the mass get changed to the New Mass which basically accomplished all the devil had wanted as the latest statistics clearly indicate that the group of Catholics today, those that actually attend mass, some 25% actually believe in transubstantiation, as compared to 75% some 50 years ago

David Deavel

Bill and Mary Kay,

I think it's a fair point that Saturday Masses make available the Mass for people who work in occupations like medicine, criminal justice, and fire fighting. But to be honest, as with fasting ruling out many people receiving communion as much, I'm not sure it wouldn't be worth the sacrifice. It's not that I don't want you two to go to Mass every Sunday; it's that I'm not sure the solution doesn't, in some ways, create more of a problem.

Jared

Stop with the italics already, anonymous.

David Deavel

Jared,

I'm not "anonymous" and I have no idea why my comments were italicized.

Anna

David,

Jared was talking to the person who posted right before you. They didn't type anything, and they posted anonymously. Since there was no reason for you to have put your post in italics, Jared came to the commonsense conclusion (possibly based on experience) that the anonymous poster opened an italics tag, which makes everything after that show up in italics until someone (in this case Jared) closed the tag off. It's one of those pointless juvenile things to do.

Some Day

A priest may not offer a single Mass, having collected multiple stipends for it, and claim that he has fulfilled his obligation to the donors.

Actually, the guilt is based on conscience there.
One Mass has an infinite value. Ergo an infinite amount intentions maybe placed on it.
But unfourtunately, what priest thinks about that,
so it is more probabable he is doing it out of bad spririt.

Carol

I'd just like to point out that in the U.S. we should be grateful that we have the OPPORTUNITY to attend Mass and not have restrictions as in some countries or in remote areas where they are lucky to see a priest at all. My ex-husband never forbid me to attend Mass; however, he made things at home VERY difficult for me whenever I did. Please, please, be grateful that you CAN attend Mass and don't quibble about if you HAVE to attend. Thank you for letting me put my two cents in! :-)

Esau

I'd just like to point out that in the U.S. we should be grateful that we have the OPPORTUNITY to attend Mass and not have restrictions as in some countries or in remote areas where they are lucky to see a priest at all. My ex-husband never forbid me to attend Mass; however, he made things at home VERY difficult for me whenever I did. Please, please, be grateful that you CAN attend Mass and don't quibble about if you HAVE to attend. Thank you for letting me put my two cents in! :-)

Thank God for somebody who reflects the right spirit in which we should all be so grateful to have the opportunity to attend Mass at all and receive the benefits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as intended by Our Lord and Saviour!

I can recall the many stories of oppressed Catholics be they those Catholics that lived in the Middle East or those in the former Soviet states where even an attempt to attend the Mass meant a life or death situation. Yet, they proceeded in their lives to attend Mass in spite of these hardships and risk to life!

Tim J.

"Thank God for somebody who reflects the right spirit..."

AMEN!

If one is starting by asking "How many times do I HAVE to attend mass at Christmas?" they are looking at the whole thing backward.

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