Christmas 2023

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you for taking your time to answer our queries and your blogs which have been most edifying.

I have a question about Christmas 2023 that falls on Monday and thus what would the liturgical celebration be on Sunday 24 December evening at 5pm. Is it one of the Christmas readings or should it still be the Sunday’s readings for the usual evening Mass?

All the best wishes always.


A: As I understand it, you have a choice, but in parishes, the people who come to Mass on the night of Sunday, December 24, are not thinking “Sunday” but rather “Christmas Eve”. They will not likely come back on Christmas Day. In parishes, whenever this happens, we usually schedule the regular morning Masses for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then celebrate that same evening with the Christmas Masses. Catholics are supposed come twice to fulfill both obligations—and to complete their observance of Advent in a spiritually enriching way.

Theoretically, there could be a remote church where the priest is only able to come for one Mass each weekend, and it’s on a Sunday night. He could in that instance celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent and then return the next day for a Christmas Mass.