Saturday vigil Mass

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I realise different countries have slightly different customs and outlooks on things that are quite legitimate, and maybe this is one of them - or maybe not. I just want feedback from some of you guys, because since I joined I have read a lot of edifying stuff, and am starting to think that I have too casual an attitude about a few things.
It’s the practice of attending Mass on a Saturday evening - when there is no reason why one couldn’t go on Sunday.
My parish, and many other in our diocese, have quite a big attendance on Saturday night - including many older parishioners who obviously don’t work on Sundays. I also mostly go on Saturday night, largely because I like the quieter Mass without crying children, partly because I am on the reading (lector’s) roster for evening Masses, but also, I must confess, for the ignoble reason that I can lie in a bit longer on Sunday. (I have to get up very early during the week)
I do respect Sunday as a day of no work that isn’t necessary.

I’ve never heard a priest say that Sat. night should only be for those who can’t go on Sunday, and I’ve never felt at all bad about it until I joined this board and read that opinion somewhere
What are your thoughts?

A Te numquam separari permittas
I read in an EWTN Catholic Q&A where someone was knocking the Vigil Mass as second rate, and that it is abused by people who don’t really need it.

I’m a Vigil Mass fan, myself. For one thing, I work 2 12hr Saturday nightshifts a month as a nurse, and need to sleep the following day. Plus, as you say, there are mainly elderly which makes it more solemn and quiet. Also, I like the time. And, where I live, there is no Sunday evening Mass. Also, because I’m a nurse, I’ve taken care of several of the Vigil Mass elderly, and I like seeing them there. We have our own little mini parish within a parish. I like the vibes better as well.

Let’s face it, we no longer live in a mainly agrarian society where everyone is basically on the same workweek. We are a people on the go, juggling busy schedules and lives. The Vigil Mass is a great offering by the Church to help us meet our basic obligation as Catholics.

So, if people think it’s second-rate, they should re-consider.
We also have a Saturday evening mass that is largely attended by an older, very quiet crowd. Since they used to call the Sunday evening mass the “sinner’s mass” because it is the very last mass one can go to to fulfill their Sunday obligation, I guess you could look at this as the very earliest mass you can attend to meet your Sunday obligation. 🙂 (I always hated the sound of “Sunday obligation” - it makes it seem like a chore when it should be our pleasure.) I don’t think I have ever heard that it is wrong to regularly attend Saturday evening mass even if you could go Sunday.
I guess you have to be one of those who regularly attend Saturday Night Mass to understand that it is still a valid Mass. We also attend Saturday Night because my husband is up at 3am every morning except Sunday. So maybe it is a selfish reason, but I can also say like the rest that I feel more like I have attended the Mass because the only other Mass we attend if we miss Sat is the late Mass on Sunday, which like you have said is much busier, and full of kids running around and distractions. It is my opinion that God understands.
I have no problem with Vigil Masses because for one reason if there were a problem with it I and many of the clergy would be in trouble. What I mean is when I am scheduled to preach at the Vigil Masses in my parish. We have two churhes that are 20 miles apart, the main church and our mission church.

Also for many years I worked on the railroad and was required to work Sundays. If it had not been for the Vigil Mass I would not been able to go to Mass.

WhiteDove made a good point: Let’s face it, we no longer live in a mainly agrarian society where everyone is basically on the same workweek. We are a people on the go, juggling busy schedules and lives. The Vigil Mass is a great offering by the Church to help us meet our basic obligation as Catholics.

What would Jesus do?

In our current system of time measurement, each day begins anew at midnight. But 2,000 years ago, the new day began at sunset. Therfeore, sunset on Saturday was the beginning of Sunday. Even today, Jews begin their Sabbath (Saturday) on Friday evening.

We don’t actually wait for the sun to set, but that’s the justification for the vigil Mass.
I go because my husband asked me to. He’s a Protestant and when I first told him I wanted to convert he said he was ok with it as long as it didn’t ‘split up the family’. I talked to the priest about it and he said it was ok to go to church with my husband and son as long as I met my obligation.
It got to be a bit much running from one church to the other (we only have one car at the moment) on Sunday morning so he asked if I could go on Saturday night so I agreed. I mean he has been supportive of me this whole time…it seemed like a small request.

And it has worked out…and I found I really enjoy the Saturday Vigil. It seems quieter and more reverent…and yet less formal all at the same time!

dream wanderer
Thanks a lot, folks, for all your replies. I feel a lot better about it, because basically it’s the more prayerful atmosphere that draws me to the Vigil Mass - I feel like I’ve BEEN to Mass and been able to give my fullest attention. Also people tend to stay on a bit and pray instead of galloping noisily out of the church or sitting around in the church having a chat.😦

God bless everyone on these forums - it’s such a treat to find like-minded people who live their faith and love it and “want the world to know” as the song says.😃

A Te numquam separari permittas
There is nothing wrong with a Saturday Vigil Mass. One can see its roots in Jewish tradition. Jewish tradition has the day ending at sundown; therefore, Sunday begins at sundown on Saturday. In addition, if one looks to the liturgy of the hours, the first Vespers (evening prayer) for Sunday or a solemnity is said on Saturday evening. The Church views Sunday as beginning at the start of the first Vespers.
I like the vigil Mass. I often find I’m more reflective AFTER my busy day, than at a morning Mass, where I’m tempted to have a ‘to do’ list running through my brain.
I used to go to the Saturday vigil Mass. It just got to be a bother stopping whatever I was doing in order to get dressed. I had always preferred Sunday morning Masses, so as soon as the chapel near my house was consecrated, I switched from the Sat. Vigil to the Sunday 11:00 A.M. Mass. But, my wife generally goes to a Saturday 4:30 Mass, and one of my daughters goes to the late (7:00) Sat. Vigil Mass (where she sings in the choir).

Actually, my parish doesn’t have a Satuday vigil Mass - It has 6 of them (5:00 and 7:00 in town, and two each of 5:00 and 7:00 in different chapels.)

I personally don’t like the Vigil Mass because I try to go to a Mass of the Day on Saturdays. But it is certainly liturgically correct, and with the priest shortage many “circuit riders” need to offer Vigil Masses to attend to all of the parishes they serve.
Now plenty of Protestant churches as well, have regular Saturday evening services.

If an innovation is a good idea, it will spread.
Now plenty of Protestant churches as well, have regular Saturday evening services.

If an innovation is a good idea, it will spread.
Yep, and not just mainstream, either. A friend of mine is the pastor of an independent evangelical church. One day he asked me the reaons behind the vigil Mass, and I explained about the evening to evening Jewish day. A few weeks later, I found out that he had used that same argument to push a Saturday evening service through his church council. They now celebrate both Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Leave it to an Evangelical to be a quick study. They are very adaptable and like to please their customers. I think that’s one reason they’re so successful. They are the capitalists of Christianity! 😉
Because I work all day Sunday with faith formation programs, I find myself attending the vigil Mass, more and more frequently. I don’t feel as rushed (sometimes on Sundays I am running, literally to make it to Noon Mass) and have the time to meditate on the readings, pray, etc.

I believe in looking at my personal reasons and intentions for attending a vigil Mass, just to make sure it’s not just because I don’t want to get up early on Sunday… :eek: But having said that, it is an option that many of us have, the Mass is valid and each individual will have to weigh their reasons within their own consciences.

Good night all…have a blessed Independence Day!
Once we attended a fast growing non-denom church. Its now a local mega-church. They had a Saturday Night service but it was to ease the congestion on Sunday morning.

I don’t know what our church would do without the Vigil Mass. They have seven masses on Sunday and they are all packed! We have one mission church. I think its time the parish had another!

The misison church is very near me.So far they just have a 9 am mass… I’ll be glad when they add a Vigil mass to their schedule.

dream wanderer
I just did the math and found that there are thirteen weeks a year that my schedule at work would not allow me to meet my Sunday obligation were it not for Saturday Vigil Mass.
I don’t mind going to a Vigil mass if I have a good reason to… I usually attend mass with a friend of mine and her family, and they can’t really get out the door for an early Sunday mass(she is one of seven children), so we usually go in the evening. However if something is coming up for Sunday, we go to the vigil.
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