Advent and Christmas Scheduling Quirks
As we prepare to enter the Season of Advent, many are already beginning their Christmas planning, St Mary included! This year, the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on Sunday, December 24, and, as always, Christmas falls on December 25. This creates a situation that is a little confusing when it comes to determining when we should go to Mass. We are obligated to attend Mass twice between December 23 and December 25: Once for the Fourth Sunday of Advent and once for Christmas. There is not one Mass that satisfies the requirement for both (no two for ones!). In short, Fourth Sunday of Advent is celebrated starting at 5pm Mass on Saturday December 23 and ending at 12:30pm on December 24. Christmas begins a few hours later on Sunday, December 24, at the 4pm Mass. That means that to satisfy your obligations for both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and for Christmas, you need to attend Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent at any of the following times: Saturday, December 23rd at 5pm in the church and an additional Mass added for that Saturday only at 5pm at Holy Cross Academy, and there will also be a 7pm Vigil in the church which will be bi-lingual. On Sunday Morning, we will have Mass at 7am, 8:30am, 10:30am in the church, and 10:30am at Holy Cross Academy, and 12:30pm in the church. That means the last Mass satisfying your obligation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent is the 12:30pm Mass. Christmas is such an important Solemnity that as soon at the evening approaches we begin celebrating it, so it takes precedence over what would be our normal Sunday evening Masses. Masses for Christmas begin at 4pm, both in the church and at Holy Cross. The 6:30pm Mass in the church will be in Spanish, and the 6:30pm at Holy Cross will be in English. We will have a 8:30pm in the church in English, and caroling at 11pm followed by Midnight Mass at 12am. On Monday, Christmas morning, we will have 7am, 8:30am, 10:30am, and 12:30pm Mass all in the church.
This year, The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God is NOT A DAY OF OBLIGATION. This means that, while still a holy day, you are not obligated to attend Mass on Monday January 1. You still are obligated to attend on Sunday December 31, the Feast of the Holy Family, at our usual Saturday Vigil or Sunday Mass Schedule. On that Monday, January 1, we will be offering at 7am, 8:30am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm Spanish for those who still wish to celebrate the Holy Day and start the New Year off with Mass.
For the complete Advent and Christmas Schedule, click here!