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12/17/2023

It is always unique when Christmas falls on a Monday. How does that work with going to Mass? Well, in this case there are two obligations, which means two Masses. Here are the

options helpfully laid out in an article from the Pillar: https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/the-long-weekend-super-sunday-or

 

“Most Catholics, hopefully, don’t primarily think of going to Mass in terms of an “obligation,” but … with Christmas coming on a Monday, what are the expectations, and options, for getting to church over the long weekend?

 

Option 1: Two for two

Many, maybe most Catholics will opt for simply going to their usual morning Mass on successive days — first on December 24 for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then again the next day for Christmas. It’s easy to remember, simple to plan around, and the no-nonsense solution. Two obligations, two Masses, two days, Sunday and Monday.

 

Option 2: ‘Vigil’ all the way

There is, of course, more than one way to go to Mass twice in two days — especially at Christmas when a lot of people prefer to go to midnight Mass. … (Mass on Saturday evening for Sunday, and then Sunday evening/night for Christmas — this is my note)

 

Option 3: The long weekend

Maybe there are some Pillar readers who’d like to take the whole day before Christmas for leisurely coffee drinking, meal preparation, or even some cross-country travel. Or maybe some Pillar readers live dangerously, and buy all their Christmas presents on Dec. 24. And for some, getting the whole family dressed and to Mass on time for successive mornings or evenings is a tall order. In those cases, you could opt for a Saturday anticipated Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then go for morning Mass on Christmas Day, essentially giving yourself a day off in between celebrations.

 

Option 4: Super Sunday

Not for the faint-hearted, but instead of spreading your Eucharistic obligations across three days, you could opt to pack them all into one Super Sunday. To do that, you would go to Sunday morning Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then to Mass again, later that afternoon or evening, for a Christmas vigil Mass.

 

Option 5: Double Christmas

If you really want to maximize your carol singing chances, and double down on nativity narratives for the Gospel reading, you could opt for two Christmas Masses. The Sunday obligation — that Catholics attend weekly Masses on the Lord’s Day — is one of those cases in which “liturgical time” and of-the-clock-time don’t exactly overlap, at least sometimes. Catholics are obliged to attend Mass every Sunday, including the Fourth Sunday of Advent. And they are obliged to go to Mass for the feast of Christmas. Those two obligations are distinct, and have to be met separately — but there’s no rule mandating that the Mass Catholics attend for their Sunday obligation actually be celebrated liturgically for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

 

Whatever your plans for Christmas, please, pick one of the options above, and get to Mass. Twice. We’ll see you there.”

 

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

 

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