Circular on Liturgical Concurrence
Circular No. 2006-58
15 November 2006
TO: ALL THE PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
RE: CONCURENCE OF THE VIGIL MASS OF THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRISTMAS AND THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, ON A SUNDAY
Dear Monsignori, Father, Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings of Peace in the Lord Jesus!
The Solemnity of Christmas (December 25) and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Octave Day of Christmas (January 1) this year fall on a Monday. We are aware that the celebration of a solemnity runs from the First Vespers (Evening Prayer 1) of the previous evening until the day itself and the midnight of the day of the celebration. This means that this year, the Vigil Mass of Christmas and Mass on the Eve of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s Eve Mass) will be celebrated on the eve of the previous day which, in this year’s case, is a Sunday.
The query of many is: which obligation is fulfilled when one goes to the evening Mass of that Sunday (December 24 and December 31). It is of the Sunday or of Christmas / New Year?
Response: So as not to put our faithful in an irregular situation, We decree that the Vigil Mass of Christmas (December 24) and of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (December 31) also satisfy their Sunday obligation and at the same time their Christmas / New Year obligation.
This also requires that there is only one Vigil Mass of Christmas and of New Year on that Sunday, which usually is the last evening Mass of Sunday.
We hope that this clarification will help you guide your Christian community and celebrate with lively faith the solemn celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord.
+GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES
Archbishop of Manila