From a reader:
Some in our local parish have suggested the 4 pm Saturday slot for a traditional Latin Mass that would count as a Sunday Mass. I.e. what in the Novus Ordo is called a vigil or anticipated Sunday Mass.
Is this "legal" in the Extraordinary Form? I’ve never heard of it.
What you raise is easily answered from the canonical point of view. Canon 1248 says:
1. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
Since it is a Mass in a Catholic rite on the evening before the Sunday, which is a day of precept, you fulfill the obligation. It is not necessary that the Mass be the Sunday Mass. The canon says "a Mass".
However, that said, it would be very strange to have people regularly fulfilling their Sunday obligation by attending the Saturday evening Mass with the Saturday texts.
The whole idea of evening Masses with the older rite will strike most people as a little odd, since Masses were always in the morning and there wasn’t such a critter as a Saturday anticipated Mass.
That said, we do now live in an age of electric lighting and the horseless carriage. People can get to Mass in the evening even when it is dark! It strikes me as within the range of the imagination that the Roman Rite is flexible enough to accommodate such technological wonders and therefore permit evening Masses.
The question remains of which set of texts to use in the evening, the very day or the Sunday. I suppose you would use the Sunday texts on the Saturday evening if you are intending that people satisfy their obligation with that particular Mass.
But the whole thing is strange.
I think there should be fewer Saturday Masses, frankly. I would like to see the emphasis be placed on Sunday, the dies dominica, and provide that there be some Saturday Masses in some places for those tough weekends when Sunday participation at the sacred synaxis would be neigh on impossible or very burdensome.
Let’s have our TLM’s on Sunday and remove the problem.