Christmas obligation (25th) fulfilled on 24th?
#1
So, since my conversion to Catholicism two years ago I've gone to the Mass of Christmas Eve (at about 5pm I think) to fulfill my obligation for 25th December. I've since started going to the Traditional Latin Mass. My question then is: is this practice allowed in the TLM? As in, would I be able to fulfill my obligation for 25th December by going to a vigil mass on the 24th of December? Or would it have to be the midnight mass of the 25th?

I'm primarily interested in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, as I know I can technically do an "anticipated mass" the evening before any holiday of obligation according to the modern Canon Law.
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#2
(11-01-2019, 11:19 AM)ThatGladTrad Wrote: So, since my conversion to Catholicism two years ago I've gone to the Mass of Christmas Eve (at about 5pm I think) to fulfill my obligation for 25th December. I've since started going to the Traditional Latin Mass. My question then is: is this practice allowed in the TLM? As in, would I be able to fulfill my obligation for 25th December by going to a vigil mass on the 24th of December? Or would it have to be the midnight mass of the 25th?

I'm primarily interested in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, as I know I can technically do an "anticipated mass" the evening before any holiday of obligation according to the modern Canon Law.

According to the contemporary liturgy, the Christmas vigil Mass does not fulfill the obligation of the holy day.  Only the "midnight" Mass (at, er, 7:30 PM?  haha) or the Mass of the day fulfill the obligation.

My understanding is that it was the same pre-1969, though the midnight Mass was actually at midnight.
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#3
So what you're really saying is that back then
1: vigils could not be celebrated before midnight; and
2: You couldn't go to a late mass Christmas eve to fulfill your obligation for the 25th?
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#4
(11-01-2019, 12:57 PM)ThatGladTrad Wrote: So what you're really saying is that back then
1: vigils could not be celebrated before midnight; and
2: You couldn't go to a late mass Christmas eve to fulfill your obligation for the 25th?

Vigils were celebrated before midnight. They were celebrated in the morning, like any other Mass, which was prohibited to be celebrated after noon. Even the Easter Vigil was celebrated Saturday morning until the 1950s.

Current Church law is that a Mass the evening before a Holy Day of Obligation (including Sunday) counts as a fulfilment of the obligation. The bishops have decided that "evening" starts about 4 pm, so any Mass after that counts. It doesn't have to be the Mass of the Feast; a Saturday evening wedding or funeral Mass counts.

But I'd also ask why go the evening before? It's one thing if you work on Christmas, or Sundays, and that's the only time you can go. But, otherwise, skipping Mass on Christmas seems to miss the point. If you really need to sleep in, go to the third Mass. If you have to open gifts and spend time with family, that's important, but the whole point of Christmas is Jesus, and worshipping Him is far more important than anything else, and makes the day first about God, and only then about man.
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#5
(11-01-2019, 12:57 PM)ThatGladTrad Wrote: So what you're really saying is that back then
1: vigils could not be celebrated before midnight; and
2: You couldn't go to a late mass Christmas eve to fulfill your obligation for the 25th?

I believe the only midnight Mass is on the day of the Nativity of the Lord (Dec. 25).  Vigils occur all year long.  As Paul said, vigils were simply the liturgy for the day prior to the feast of precept or Sunday.

As far as I have always been told, the vigil Mass on Dec. 24 does not fulfill the obligation to hear Mass on Dec. 25 and that it is a singular thing.  However, in some dioceses the midnight Mass is moved to earlier in the evening of Dec. 24 (I've seen it as early as 7:30 PM in some parishes), and does fulfill the obligation to hear Mass for Dec. 25. 

The allowance in canon law is that hearing Mass on the evening prior to the feast is sufficient (can. 1248).  It may vary by diocese how each bishop actually enacts rules on this matter, hence why I've always heard that you have to hear the liturgy for Christmas Day to fill that particular obligation.
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#6
The Church does not view the day from midnight to midnight, but rather we inherited from Judaism the day being from sunset to sunset.  This is still official in the Byzantine churches, and is either official in the Latin church as well but not well known due to Western secular custom, or is at least implicit in your liturgy of the hours.  You celebrate Vespers of Christmas on the evening of the 24th, not the 25th, right?  Any mass after sunset, or after any time the bishop allows as the beginning of evening, is a Christmas mass, not a Christmas Eve mass.  

Well, yeah, it actually is a Christmas Eve mass.  A mass on the evening of Christmas, not a mass on the day before Christmas.
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#7
I always thought the purpose of dragging the kiddos to Midnight Mass was to a) fulfill the Christmas obligation and b) make them tired so Santa could put presents under the tree without interruption.  There used to be a c) the pomp and pageantry; it was quite something at the Cathedrals.
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