Christmas 2017

I was reading another post and this crossed my mind…

Next year, Christmas 2017 will be on a Monday.

If does that mean that if someone attend Christmas Eve Vigil Mass (not Midnight Mass), they can meet two Mass obligations by attending one mass?

Aka, meet the Sunday requirement and the Christmas requirement by attending a 6PM or 8PM Christmas Eve Mass?

Well, no. Since Christmas is a Solemnity, the Vigil starts technically at 4p.m. (unless there is permission to do earlier). So if Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, then the Mass could not be considered Christmas Eve until 4p.m. and after that the 4th Sunday of Advent Mass cannot be celebrated (except of course, if the priest decides to say the 5 p.m. Sunday mass using the 4th Sunday of Advent Propers. Then, he could still say that Mass). The two Masses cannot be combined so to say. That’s not liturgically correct.

Please correct me if Im wrong

That’s not what I meant.

I was simply asking that if you skip the Sunday morning Mass next year on Sunday, Dec 24th and only attend at Christmas Vigil Mass at 6PM (for example) would you basically be satisfying the requirement to attend Mass on Sunday and to attend a Christmas Liturgy?

My thought is yes, since the only requirement for Sunday is to attend Mass on Sunday (or on Saturday evening).

No, I answered your question.

Your Sunday Obligation for that Sunday falls under the Category of the 4th Sunday of Advent, NOT Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve doesn’t start until 4pm Sunday the 24th, 2017 because solemnities start the evening before at that time. So, for instance, when you attend a Saturday evening Mass for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time, that Covers your Sunday Mass, correct? To fulfill just the Saturday would mean that you would have to go to Mass earlier that day. In the same way, by attending Christmas Eve Mass you are fulfilling your Christmas duty for that Monday not the Sunday, since Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Advent

Therefore, by Skipping Sunday Mass (4th Sunday of Advent) and attending the Christmas Eve Mass without going to Christmas Mass the next day, you would be missing your Sunday Obligation. Again because Christmas Eve counts for Christmas on Monday NOT Sunday

Yes, you would meet both obligations. (Same thing for Jan. 1)

The Sunday obligation is met by attending Mass on Sunday (or Saturday evening) regardless of which part of the Lectionary is being used for the Mass.

The Christmas obligation is met by attending Mass on Christmas Day or any of the Vigil Masses.

I didn’t think the Church had specified a specific time at which “evening” begins, although individual bishops might have done so for their own diocese.


There has been some back-and-forth on this issue in canonical literature. I was once rather undecided about it and even tended toward the “yes, you can do that” side.

But, in the wisdom of my middle age years (a relative term)…and having read the latest commentaries on the issue, I am of the view that a person cannot meet two Mass obligations by attending only one Mass.

If a person does not go to Mass until Sunday evening, attendance at that Mass would fulfill his Sunday obligation. Attendance at another, later Mass or Mass on Monday would fulfill the Monday (Christmas) obligation.



Sorry but the Jan. 1 argument does not apply, since it’s only a Solemnity overlapping an ordinary Day.

Again, like I explained above, if I attend a Saturday evening Vigil thinking that my Saturday Daily Mass is fulfilled I would be wrong unless I would either:

  1. Go to Mass on Saturday evening and Sunday Morning (then the Saturday Vigil would cover my Saturday Daily Mass, and the Sunday would fulfill my Sunday Duty)

  2. I go to Mass Saturday Morning and then go to Mass either Saturday Evening or Sunday (the former fulfills my Saturday Daily Mass and the Latter fulfills my Sunday Mass)

A question for the question:

Why doesn’t my Saturday morning Mass at 8:15 A.M. cover my Saturday Vigil Mass?

Same rules apply to Sundays that have solemnities the following Day. In our Case, that would be Christmas next year.

There is no such thing as double-dipping Liturgical Obligations.

It’s based off of the Jewish Tradition of Sundown starting the feast for the following day. So the Church solidified that and gave it a specific time, since sundown takes place at different times throughout the world and in different seasons.

I cannot say Evening Prayer in my breviary Technically until 4 p.m. This is also why Saturday Vigil Masses are no earlier than 4 P.M.

The sad thing is, people will take every opportunity to NOT come to church twice in a week. We already see that with holy Days of Obligation. :frowning:

This comes up whenever Christmas or Immaculate Conception fall on Monday.

You won’t find anything definitive, and there are arguments both way.

Basically two obligations means two masses. One for the Sunday obligation and one for the Christmas obligation. Both masses could be on Sunday. That is what some say.

See this article:

Others land on the other side of this argument:

This type of scenario has been discussed here before.

Here is canon lawyer Ed Peter’s take:

And Jimmy Akin’s:

And Fr. Z’s:

Akin and Peters think that two obligations require two separate Masses. Fr. Z doesn’t agree. I have yet to see any official clarification from the Vatican, so I imagine one could hold either view at this point.

I see 1ke beat me to it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Most of what you say there does not makes sense. New Years 2018 will be on a Monday, just like Christmas 2017. So Christmas 2017 and New Years (Mary, Mother of God) 2018 will have the same situation.

Attending Mass on the morning of Saturday, Dec 25, 2017 or Dec 31, 2017 is not a factor to anything.

New Year’s Day too (Mary, Mother of God) — if you are not in the United States

To be clear, even though we are talking about next year, I’m not personally looking for a reason not to attend just one mass, but rather I’m looking for an excuse to justify to my wife to attend two :slight_smile:

My Mistake. :blush: I was unaware that this same situation would come up with Mary, Mother of God.

Attending Mass on the morning of Saturday, Dec 25, 2017 or Dec 31, 2017 is not a factor to anything.

No it doesn’t, but I used it as an example. A Sunday Mass is Just as much of a Solemnity as Mary the Mother of God. A way to Cover that Solemnity is to go to Mass Saturday Evening. Do we agree so far?

If so, then why doesn’t my Saturday Evening Vigil Mass (that is, a Mass that Counts for Sunday) not cover My Saturday Daily Mass? And why Can’t a vigil Mass be at 10:15 am?

The point I’m trying to make is that each Mass can only satisfy one obligation. The Liturgy is bound by rules that apply to the times of day and what exactly is being celebrated. That’s why a priest can celebrate his Saturday Morning Mass for the BVM and then proceed later that Evening to Celebrate the Saturday Vigil for the Sunday of the 17th Week in Ordinary time. Both are two different Masses on the Same day. Each covers something different


NOTE: I think this is more unique to Christmas because when Immaculate Conception falls on a Monday, many parishes (like mine) do not have an anticipated mass for it on Sunday night.

For Christmas, you will always have the Christmas Vigil Mass(es)

Because there isn’t a Saturday obligation (unless you are a priest). :shrug:

Yes, but HDOs including Mary, Mother of God, Assumption, and All Saints have the obligation to attend mass abrogated when they fall on Saturday or Monday in the US.

Immaculate Conception and Christmas do not.

So, it would only be an issue for those two.