A commenter remarked about the “sacrosanct” nature of the Saturday afternoon/evening Mass. I can’t deny it. When I was at the student parish at Michigan State back in the mid-90′s, there was talk of compressing the Mass schedule from five to four. (I noticed now they have six.) The Sunday 4PM Mass was on the chopping block because it was considered the “dead” Mass. But the Saturday evening Mass actually had lower attendance. There was quite a stir when I suggested we consider dropping the Saturday night. I think a few people were ready to brand me a heretic. Saturdays have a very loyal following.
At my present parish, I notice a lot of older parishioners at our late Saturday Mass. Our attendance bumped about 25% when we went to 4PM year-round. (We used to have 5PM from Lent till the end of October.)
This Mass has consistently been our biggest draw, except when the children’s choir does the mid-morning. Now with our condensed Sunday schedule, I think the mid-morning 9:30 has overtaken it. Even the new 11:30 is giving it a good run.
I see some, but fewer families at the Saturday. Given the numbers of older parishioners who come on Sunday night, I suspect that evenings are slightly more convenient for many folks. It’s actually a nice time to come to Mass.
I still remain with misgivings about the whole anticipated or vigil Mass thing replacing Sunday. But I’m not willing to go to the stake for it.