Y RECENT POST about “simultaneous fulfillment” of Mass obligation generated quite a lot of email from readers. We always love getting messages, but some people who wrote chose not to read the article—something normal and expected, but which never fails to make me sad. One email came from Fr. Shawn P. Tunink, who gave permission for us to share this marvelous dissertation:
* * PDF • “Evening Masses and Days of Obligation” (58 pages)
It covers a lot of ground, including whether permission for “anticipated” Masses has anything to do with how Jewish people calculated daytime. It also talks about the very first time this permission was granted, out of a concern for (…wait for it…) people on skiing trips!
A brief excerpt from page 40:
Only in the case of a feast of the Lord or a solemnity falling on a Sunday would a feast actually take precedence over the Sunday. In this case there would be only one obligation to attend Mass. However, when a feast day falls on Saturday or Monday, the celebration of Sunday as the Lord’s day retains its proper distinctiveness, including its own proper obligation. Liturgically, there are two separate feasts being celebrated on two separate days, each with its own proper obligation. Even though there is a period of time that would overlap for the fulfilling of either obligation, this would not remove the fact that there are two distinct obligations to attend Mass.
This is definitely a PDF you will want to download and save on your hard drive for a long time.