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2023 Christmas Liturgy Schedule

Christmas 2023

The 2023 Christmas Mass Schedule is peculiar this year because Christmas falls on a Monday. Please read Father's column from December 3rd to understand what Masses count for which days.

 

We have been in this business a long time. With our experience, we’re gonna have ideas for [Mass] combinations that probably haven’t occurred to you. –Paul McElroy, First Citiwide Change Bank.

This is the first Sunday of Advent.  The purpose of Advent is to prepare us to celebrate Christ’s coming at Christmas and to remind us that He is coming again at the end of time and to remind us He comes to us in time, all the time.

This year we have the shortest Advent possible; the 4th week of Advent lasts only 24 hours!  Yes, with Christmas on a Monday, all we get of the 4th week of Advent is from the Vigil of the 4th Sunday of Advent (4 pm Saturday, Dec 23) to the Vigil of Christmas (4 pm Sunday, Dec 24).

Because of the multitude of Masses in these days, I want to share with you the schedule for the 4th Sunday of Advent and for Christmas. 

Note that there are changes from the regular Mass schedule.

 

For the 4th Sunday of Advent:

Saturday, December 23: 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 24:  9:00 am & 11:00 am **changed from the regular schedule.**

        

For Christmas:

Sunday, December 24: 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm **changed from past years**
Monday, December 25: 9:00 am & 11:00 am

       
In order to fulfill the Sunday obligation and the Christmas Holy Day obligation, you need to attend two Masses, one for Sunday, one for Christmas.  

 

The Code of Canon Law states:

Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

This canon just speaks of attending a Mass to fulfill the obligation.  For example, if you were attending a Confirmation Mass or Wedding Mass on a Sunday or Saturday evening,  that fulfills your Sunday obligation, even though the readings and prayers might be different from the Sunday’s readings and prayers.

Now for the confusing part.   This year, you can fulfill the 4th Sunday of Advent (Saturday/Sunday) and Christmas (Sunday/Monday) obligation by attending:

Mass on Saturday Evening and Mass on Sunday Evening, or
Mass on Saturday Evening and Mass on Monday Morning, or
Mass on Sunday Morning and Mass on Sunday Evening, or
Mass on Sunday Morning and Mass on Monday Morning, or
Two Masses on Sunday Evening

Yes, you could fulfill both obligations by attending both the 4 and 8 pm Masses on Sunday; one counts for Sunday and one counts for Christmas!

What you cannot do is a twofer, where one Mass on Sunday evening fulfils both obligations.

I hope this helps you in your planning and preparation for Christmas.