MERGED: Does Attending the Easter Vigil Mass Count for Easter Mass on Sunday?

The title pretty much says it all. Also, is it an obligation to attend the Easter Vigil?

Yes. Easter Vigil fulfills the Sunday obligation.

You are not obligated to attend the Easter Vigil as long as you attend mass on Easter Day, but it is a very beautiful way to celebrate the Resurrection.

If it is a specific obligation to attend the Easter Vigil, then this would be the first I have heard for it. I have also generally been lead to believe that the Vigil fulfills the Easter/Sunday obligation just like a normal Saturday Mass does.


My understanding is it is all the same. The Easter Vigil can not start until the sun is down because that was the end of Staurday in the old system. Thus the Vigil is a Sunday Mass by the original standards. Some even stayed up all night as their Vigil.

No - Not an obligation

However, I HIGHLY encourage attendance at the Vigil. It is life affirming to see the Church perpetuated in Catecumens, and also to hear the whole history of salvation through scripture. Awesome!!

Apparently, if you DO attend the Vigil it counts for your Sunday obligation. I have some personal heartburn with that, but oh well. I’m not the Pope. Whether obligated or not, I can’t imagine a devout Christian not wanting to observe:

The Triduum Mass which begins on at Sundown on Holy Thursday, and Ends at the conclusion of the Easter Vigl Mass on Holy Saturday. This includes three “meetings” of the faithful all under the SAME MASS. There is no concluding rite until after the Vigil. It is all one mass. Seems to me if you start it, you should finish it. That would inlcude all the meetings of the body. If you went last night, you ARE STILL AT MASS today, (and hopefully fasting).

Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday evening.

Easter Sunday - as a joyous celebration of the ressurection!!!



With respect, Steven: Yes, attending any vigil ‘counts’ for the following Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation.

Also, Easter is not a ‘Holy Day of Obligation’–it is a Sunday and all Sundays are days of obligation. Christmas is a holy day of obligation even when it does not fall on a Sunday, but Easter by definition is always on a Sunday.

One is not ‘obliged’ to attend the vigil unless as above, one attends the vigil FOR the Sunday or Holy Day.

The Easter Saturday vigil for Easter Sunday, like any other anticipatory vigil for a Sunday, is not a ‘holy day obligation’ but as I said before, is an anticipation, and under canon law and according to the Catechism, fulfils one’s obligations for the Sunday (in this case) and (as in the Christmas Vigil) would fulfill the obligation for the Christmas Day Mass.

I have never heard it described thus. Remarkable what one can miss as a cradle Catholic.


Bravo, Steven. I help with our RCIA program and one my pet peeves is the notion that often gets shared that one is “free” on Sunday from having to go to mass as if mass were a burden. While technically correct, it’s not a great message to send to our newest members. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Triduum become Holy Days of Obligation; however, I’m not the Pope either. :slight_smile:

The easter Vigil Mass is the first Mass of Easter; it celebrates the Lord’s Ressurection, and the whole of salvation history. As far as pomp and ceremony, it is the most ceremonious Mass of Easter.

The Jews considered that the new day started at sunset. The Evening Prayer (Vespers) on Saturday evening is the First Sunday Evening Prayer (Vespers on Sunday afternoon being the second), and if one understands that in the other official Liturgy of the Church - the Liturgy of the Hours - the Church treats Saturday Vespers as the First Sunday Vespers, then it may be easier to understand why the vigil Mass of Sunday, on Saturday evening, is accepted as fulfilling one’s obligation to attend Mass.

Can you quote or site some sorce to support your comment that the Mass on Holy Thursday does not end, but continues through the Vigil Mass?

Yeah, I’m not sure that’s 100% correct that it is kind of an open-ended mass until after the Vigil. Here’s a link to what the USCCB says on the subject.

This might be a stupid question, but I’m getting all three sacraments of initiation tomorrow at the vigil and I am incredibly excited, and I know this fulfills my Sunday obligation, but am I allowed to go to Sunday morning mass as well? I have never been and would really like to have this experience as well. Would I be able to go and have my second Eucharist? Or is that not allowed?

You are allowed to go to as many Masses as you wish. The only restriction is how many times you can receive the Blessed Sacrament. You can only receive it twice during one day. The second time; however, you MUST be attending a Mass (two communion services are not allowed). So, if you received it once on Saturday and once on Sunday, you’re fine. So, if you receive on Saturday twice, then you’ve reached your limit. Your first time receiving can be a communion service, a Mass, etc., but your second time must be received with your participation in a Mass.

Congratulations in advance! I’m an RCIA sponsor and I’m really excited as well for our candidates.

Yes you may go. Easter is unique as there are different Gospel readings at different times of the day. So its technically not the same exact Mass when you go again. I did this last year, I went with my mom for Easter Vigil and with my wife Easter morning.

How exciting for you! I hope and pray that I will be in your shoes next year :slight_smile:

I am in RCIA and are attending ALL of them…

But I was under the impression that the Easter Vigil (Saturday Night) was not to fullfill the “obligation” for Sunday mass as with other Saturday night masses…there are different readings for the vigil and Sunday morning on Easter correct?

With a “normal” Saturday Mass you read the readings for Sunday…just an observation.

yes it is the principal liturgical celebration of Easter
the readings do not determine if a particular Mass fulfills the obligation

Found the answer to my own question…lol…for anyone else here is a quote from JImmy Aikens blog…

The idea that the readings of a Mass must be the same as those of the Sunday or holy day following in order to fulfill the obligation is a common idea, but it is in error. There is no doubt about this in the law.

Here is what the law says:

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 [CIC Can. 1248 §1].
Note that there is nothing in the law about there needing to be any particular readings or set of ceremonies needed to fulfill the obligation. Any Mass in any rite on the evening of the preceding day satisfied the obligation.

So yes I guess it does…I will attend both anyway!