This year Christmas falls on Monday with the Fourth Sunday of Advent the day before. Both of these Solemnities are holy days of obligation. Many may ask if attendance at the Sunday Christmas Vigil Mass fulfills the obligation for both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas? The answer is “No,” each obligation must be fulfilled with a separate Mass. Catholics must attend BOTH a Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent AND a Christmas Mass.
Archbishop Fabre, our apostolic administrator, said that the faithful should attend both a Fourth Sunday of Advent Mass (either Saturday evening or Sunday morning) and a Christmas Mass (either Sunday evening or Monday). Since Holy Ghost does not offer a Saturday Vigil Mass, your obligation for the 4th Sunday of Advent is fulfilled by attending either the 8:00 or 10:00 English Mass, the 12:00 Traditional Latin Mass or the 2:30 Spanish Mass. You could also attend a Saturday vigil Mass at another parish.
The important thing to remember is that the 5:00 Mass on Sunday the 24th will be a Christmas Mass and will NOT fulfill your obligation for the 4th Sunday of Advent.
The following Sunday, December 31, is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As with all Sunday’s, this is a holy day of obligation. The following day, January 1, 2024, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This Solemnity is normally a holy day of obligation, but it is not this year in the United States. Therefore the 5:00pm Mass on Sunday the 31st will be a Sunday Mass, not a vigil Mass for the following day’s Solemnity.
Masses for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God on January 1, 2024 will be offered according to our normal daily Mass schedule since it is NOT a holy day of obligation.
Mass Schedule for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 24, 2023
English: 8:00 and 10:00am
Traditional Latin Mass: 12:00 noon
Mass Schedule for Christmas
December 24 & 25, 2023
December 24: 5:00pm
December 25: Midnight, 8:00 and 10:00am
Traditional Latin Mass:
December 25: 12:00 noon
December 25: 2:30pm