The Mass Obligation Chart for Christmas on Monday

H/T Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend.



      1. Thanks. I appreciate lucid design. Church communication at the parish level is often even less lucidly communicated than at higher levels. Someone hired/engaged someone who gets it to do that.

  1. Wish they would call the “Mass during the Night” by its proper name. It is NOT “Midnight Mass. “
    At the Vatican it is at 21:30.

    1. Except that so many places call it Midnight Mass regardless of actual time, using “Midnight” the way we use “Midday” – a broader time period. I doubt anyone is seriously confused.

  2. Can you choose the Christmas Eve Vigil to satisfy the Sunday obligation? I don’t think that’s precisely what’s been communicated to our parish. Of course, it’s entirely possible I just misunderstood the rules!

      1. PS: This is actually an example of the Church being *lenient*, by giving more ways to fulfill preceptual obligations. The fact that it may not be as lenient as many would prefer doesn’t negate that reality. The Church takes the Sunday obligation as divine precept that can only be dispensed for just/grave cause; it allows more wiggle room for many non-Sunday holydays, but Christmas Day is the most firmly fixed of those.

      2. Is the precept to attend Mass on Sunday a human law or Divine law? I have always felt that three divine laws were related to the Sunday observance, 1) to keep Sunday holy, 2) to celebrate the Eucharist in some form (i.e. do this in remembrance of me) and to obey the Bishops & Pope within their jurisdiction (whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven), whereas the Sunday Obligation was issued under category three to help more perfectly fulfill categories one and two. If the precept was truly divine law, would bishops and pastors have the power to dispense the obligation at all?

        As another example, in the Eastern Catholic Churches, one can fulfill their Sunday obligation with a Vespers services (no the Eucharist) on Saturday evening.

      3. Devin

        I would agree that you’ve provided fuller color; I should have been more careful to point out we have preceptual obligations regarding Sunday that are of divine origin in a way that are not quite the same as non-Sunday holidays.

    1. Yes, you satisfy the Sunday obligation by attending any Mass ON a Sunday or on the previous evening, not neccessarily a liturgical Mass OF Sunday. And the Holyday obligation with the same time rules. The only point is that you cannot satisfy two obligations with one Mass.

    2. Different diocese are giving different interpretations, but yes, most places are saying you can choose the Christmas Eve Vigil to satisfy the Sunday obligation.

  3. Nice schema, I guess, but I’ve still heard a few convincing arguments that if a person is really only concerned with the legal obligation the Sunday 4PM does it, because the obligation is legal, not liturgical. There seem to be probably opinions on both sides of this; it doesn’t really seem settled to me. On the other hand, I would never recommend missing either the Fourth Sunday of Advent or Christmas.

    That being said, I will offer for consideration that there are masses for the Vigil, Midnight, Dawn and Day. There is no obligation to attend EACH of them, even though they are all different. I find the argument that one attendance meets the requirements of the law is compelling. Again, I am stressing that I would not in away recommend it.

  4. They are more lax than Oakland Diocese. I don’t understand how the Gospel reading for the Christmas Vigil mass can substitute for the Gospel of Advent 4. Especially when many parishes use the same readings (the nativity narrative) for all the masses of Christmas Eve and Day.

    1. I think we’ve all learned through this that the obligation is to attend Mass on Sunday – not to attend Sunday Mass. From a spiritual standpoint that seems questionable, but apparently canon law is a bit flexible about this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *