Circular No. 2022 – 108
22 December 2023
TO: ALL THE CLERGY, THE CONSECRATED MEN AND WOMEN, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
RE: LITURGICAL INDICATIONS ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, THE SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD, THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY AND THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, AND THE ISSUE OF SATISFYING OBLIGATIONS
Dear Reverend Monsignori and Fathers,
Greetings of peace in the Lord!
The eve of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (24 December) and the eve of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (31 December) fall on a Sunday this year. The reckoning of solemnities “begins already on the evening of the previous day” (General Norms on the Liturgical Year and Calendar, no. 3). Both are holy days of obligation in the Philippines.
On 24 December, the dawn Mass is Simbang Gabi, the other Masses in the morning until afternoon will be Masses of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and Masses from 6:00 in the evening will be Vigil Masses of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. The last Mass in the evening of 24 December will be the Midnight Mass of Christmas. Evening Prayer I of Christmas will be prayed on 24 December evening.
On 31 December, the Masses in the morning until afternoon will be Masses of the Feast of the Holy Family and Masses in the evening will be Vigil Masses of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Evening Prayer I of the solemnity will be prayed on 31 December evening.
As a pastoral response to the situation, We decree that those who participate in the evening Masses on 24 December satisfy both their Sunday obligation and their Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord obligation. Likewise, those who participate in the evening Masses on 31 December satisfy both their Sunday obligation and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God obligation.
We hope that this clarification will help you guide your Christian community and celebrate with lively faith the Christmas season.
We gladly take this opportunity to assure you of our paternal and prayerful solicitude.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+JOSE F. CARDINAL ADVINCULA
Archbishop of Manila