Using just anecdotal evidence I wonder if today’s Holy Day of Obligation is the least attended. Year after year no matter what parish I might go to on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God there is but half the people there you would see on a Sunday or some other Holy Day of Obligation.
I guess sleeping in after partying all night is preferable to actually honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary on her feast. Yeah it’s gravely sinful to miss Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation without serious reason – and a hangover is not one of them. The idea that missing Mass is gravely sinful is certainly not something you hear much anymore since it is one of those things that went-out-with-Vatican-II-but-didn’t-really-go-out-with-Vatican-II.
The parish I went to today is usually so packed on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation that you have to park in satellite parking and they have a couple of dedicated vehicles that can carry 40 some people to the front entrance. Today though no problem parking with plenty of empty spaces near the main entrance. I would be curious if this is something my readers have observed.
The lack of attendance only give bishop’s credence for transferring feast days to the nearest Sunday, a practice I abhor.
Maybe you need a Vigil Mass?
We had 6pm and 11pm vigil Masses which were both full. I attended the 11pm, and I think our entire Indian community was there…in full party dress (which was NOT immodest!)
The homily was a good 30 min. and totally on topic. We could hear the fireworks going off as we went up to receive Communion!
The 8:30am and 9:45 am were not as well attended, but people still showed up.
(St. Ignatius, Cayman Islands)
My parents said that the 9am was more packed than our usual 8:30am Sunday Mass, so that’s good. I was on retreat so I went to an 11pm and 11:15am that was mostly a religious community 🙂
We actually had a higher than Sunday 7.45 am usual for a 10.00 am Mass on 1 January. (If anyone is interested in the slate of music for that day, click here). I also liked very much Fr Dan’s homily – he started off by saying we were celebrating the Octave of Christmas, but that we weren’t in church just because it’s New Year’s Day. He went on from there, espousing on themes similar to those I’ve seen from other commenters above.
We just had the one Mass on 1 Jan, but had a couple of Vigil Masses on 31 Dec; one at 5.30 and another at 11.00 in Spanish. I didn’t go to either of them so I don’t know what attendance was like at either of those Masses.
To answer several commenters: I did announce it at Sunday and Christmas Masses that I celebrated, basically saying “How you can come and worship the Christ Child and not honor His mother who gave Him birth, *I* don’t know” in a nudging tone.
I focused on the divinity and humanity of Christ, and the Theotokos arguments, focusing that Christ, fully God, fully participated in human life, through His covenant,even taking on the rite of circumcision (which I explained how that tied into Jan 1st), which He, as God, had no need to, and how that hypostatic union serves to lift US up. Damaging the hypostatic union by any heresy “weakens” Christ for us, because He’s either NOT Emmanuel, God-with-us, but remains remote, or He’s “just” a man, or He’s some weird hybrid that’s neither if you start confusing His two natures. But in more plainspeak. 🙂
Oops, I forgot the attendance part. Mine was about 1/3-full, which for us would be ~200. Our Vigil Mass was a multicultural Mass which was almost packed (we invited people to come in their native dress, etc). Wasn’t concelebrating, so I don’t know what my boss preached on.
Vigil Mass was well attended at our parish. The Holy Day was observed. Perhaps life was made “too easy” for the faithful, but then again why make the narrow road any narrower?
Though I do find the concept of Vigil Mass confusing. I only found out after I was 30 years old that Easter Vigil didn’t fulfill the obligation. With all encouragement to attend the full Triduum as it was the liturgical highpoint of the year – it would have been nice to hear that the “highpoint” is less important to attend than an ordinary Sunday.
Then there was the priest who had a Vigil Mass on New Year’s Eve that did NOT fulfill the obligation. I thought I was so smart going to the Vigil Mass on the Eve so that I would be able to sleep in and be well rested for travelling.
I’m now suspicious of Vigil Mass in general wondering how many more exceptions to the rule there are.
In other news, the Gospel of Thomas was found to contain a parable of the 10 too-clever-by-a-half virgins who went too early to fill up their lamps only to find that their oil had evaporated when the bridegroom arrived. They wound up gnashing their teeth with the 10 foolish virgins.
I thought all vigil Masses after a certain time counted for the next day? Are you sure the Easter Vigil doesn’t count for Easter? If I attend it, I usually attend the following day as well, but I don’t remember if I’ve always taken my children to Easter Sunday Mass after they’ve attended the Vigil and some of the Triduum Masses…it depended on their choir/altar server schedules. And their patience. (Or my degree of patience with their impatience.)
Why do some vigils count and not others? Because of the Liturgy of the Word for that particular Mass? (if one is FOR the vigil and not the holy day, is that the difference?) If a parish only offers the vigil Mass on a holy day, then, if they use the liturgy for the following day does it count?
This Marian feast is often ignored in both my parishes–of course, it is okay in the California parish now–but a few days later the churches of my California parish and the one in México are packed from before daybreak for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And then the Mexucan parish does it all over again a month later, to celebrate the dedication of the church in our little village, this time with an all-day fiesta.
I attended the Vigil Mass @ 5:00 on the 31st, and it was well attended.
A Vigil Mass for any occasion counts towards that Mass’ attendance in any case, AFAIK. I have never heard or seen it being otherwise. I’m open to correction, if anyone has documentation to the contrary.
Funny thing — I tried to go to Mass three times and failed utterly. Twice, the church simply wasn’t having Mass at its listed Holy Day time and on the third, we got there at the wrong time, having driven over after not finding anyone at church #2 without really knowing what time Mass was.
I was surprised by how well-attended Mass was on the 1st at our parish. I’d say the place was 3/4 full. Not quite packed, but still, a good turnout.
I was a lector at our second Mass that morning. 53 people attended the first mass (the Church seats around 700). The second Mass was better-attended, but it was pretty much the same situation you noted at your parish. We typically see good turnout for feast days, but it was pretty sparse for a Holy Day of obligation.
Here in AZ the least attended holy day is Assumption on August 15th. We had four Masses for the holy day and all except one were full.
I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…