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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

122516 xmas mass bishopThe Solemnity of Christmas this year occurs on a Monday, and a question has arisen as to whether Catholics are obliged to participate in Holy Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then participate again in another Mass for the Solemnity of Christmas.

Are two separate Masses required? The answer to that question is yes: Catholics are obliged to participate in Holy Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and also participate in another Mass for the Solemnity of Christmas.

Since the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Solemnity of Christmas are two separate obligations, participation in two separate Masses is required to fulfill both obligations. Participation in only one Mass will not fulfill both obligations.

It is a great witness to our love for the Lord and our love for our faith to be present at the offering of Mass on the high holy days of Advent and Christmas. This truly is a blessed time of the year for us.

On Jan. 1 we have the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. While Catholics are not obliged to participate in Holy Mass on Jan. 1 this year, we are nevertheless encouraged to attend Mass to honor the patroness of our diocese and ask for her prayers.

Let us joyfully celebrate the opportunities that God gives us to honor the true reason for the season: Jesus Christ our Savior!

— Bishop Peter Jugis is the Bishop of Charlotte.