Sunday, 4 December 2011

Mass on Saturday Evening or Sunday Morning?

Yesterday, Stuart of eChurchBlog tweeted (he's @eChurchBlog) I so much prefer to go to Mass on a Saturday evening than Sunday mornings...

I responded, somewhat tongue in cheek: But which does God prefer?... (Shades of the old traditionalist joke: you worship God as you want to, we'll worship Him as He wants us to...)

However, he is not one to leave it there, and my ducking his question about what I thought by saying that it's not my opinion which counts was not enough for him.

So I thought I'd better post on it: it will take a little longer than Twitter allows.

So what do I think? My instinct is that Sunday morning is the better time for Mass. That is the time-honoured practice of the Church and that alone carries a lot of weight for me.

I certainly understand that in cases of necessity, a Saturday evening Mass can mean that one can fulfil one's obligation when one might otherwise not be able to do so - and have indeed taken advantage of that innovation myself.

And I actively like Midnight Mass for Christmas or Easter.

I am also aware that today (and quite frequently) I am going to Mass on a Sunday afternoon, which again is not very traditional: however it is the only time on a Sunday when an EF Mass is celebrated within 60 miles of where I live.

But I think, if I am fair, that part of my disinclination (and I won't put it more strongly than that) to go to Saturday evening Masses, is that in my experience many who go then do so in order to leave Sunday free for other activities - and that does strike me as problematic. And clearly that is a prejudice based on a small sample, and does not by any means hold good for all who attend then. But, as I say, if I am to be honest, I think that is at least half of my reservation.

9 comments:

Richard Collins said...

I agree totally. Soon to start out on my journey to Mass a mere 30 miles distant.....but from now on it will be much further.

Patricius said...

I am basically a Sunday morning man myself- the earlier the better although I too have taken advantage of Saturday evening mass when necessary. On those occasions I prefer the Saturday evening to the Sunday evening.

Ben Trovato said...

I also meant to mention that morning Masses, of course, make the symbolism of facing East more potent: Christ, the rising Sun, the resurrected Son...

Phoebe said...

Hi Ben,

I thought I would comment, as I'm a big fan of the Saturday evening Mass. I would say that perhaps for me, much of this appreciation comes from having a background where the development of theology was based on looking back into our Jewish roots. Traditionally the new day start as the sun sets, as the Sabbath does.


Saturday's are always a day of expectation and excitement as we have the whole day to look forward to Mass and the blessings and grace we will receive. And with the Sacrament of Reconciliation being available immediately before, those wanting to receive a double blessing, is marvelous.


I find it is such a wonderful way to start the Lord's Day, but of course having the option of a Saturday Mass is a novelty for us in itself. We have only ever been used to one Eucharist Service and that in the morning. Now we have the privilege in being so spoiled for choice, as our Church offers 5 Masses.

Ben Trovato said...

Thanks for your comment Phoebe. As I hope I made clear I was not seeking to anathematise anyone who disagrees with me (unusually for me, one might think), merely answering Stuart's question. If your practice enables you to keep the whole of Sunday at the level of excitement you describe, then that's great.

But in my reactionary way, I am more inclined to honour and value the longstanding traditions of the Roman Rite than the archeaologism (sp? is that even a word?) of basing things on roots.

blondpidge said...

Big fan of the Saturday evening Mass for the same reasons that Phoebe states.

We used to go to Saturday nights when R was still a vicar in order that I could fulfil my obligation and still support him on a Sunday.

Since he converted we still carry on with the vigil, but also go on a Sunday morning as well. It feels inherently wrong not going to Church on a Sunday morning and going to both services has helped to integrate us more within the parish community.

Ben Trovato said...

Well, if we're talking Both...And.. then nobody could reasonably object, I imagine (though doubtless someone will pop out of the woodwork to prove me wrong again!)

Part-time Pilgrim said...

What lies behind this is (I think) the idea - correct idea - that fulfilling your Sunday obligation is necessary to keep the third commandment but not sufficient. A more interesting question is: "What else should a Catholic do on Sunday to mark it as the Lord's day?"

Ben Trovato said...

P-t P yes you're quite right. Maybe I'll blog on that soon.