The center isle between the pews has disappeared as villagers and pilgrims take up every available space within the Church of St. James for the evening Croatian Mass. Nearly 40 priests from all over the world concelebrated the Mass above. The Holy Mass—the highest form of prayer—takes place every evening after the time of the apparition of Our Lady. Though the Sacrifice of the Mass in every corner of the world is offered in reparation for the sins of the world, the particular experience of the evening Croatian Mass is unique in that pilgrims from all over the world are participating together, in a sense, they are standing together before the altar of God representing the whole world and begging His mercy upon it. Knowing that, it is more than a great privilege to be present at the Croatian Mass every evening, it is a very great responsibility for the pilgrims who are in the village to participate in this very powerful Mass.
It was in the design of Heaven that the evening services culminate with Holy Mass, which is the highest form of prayer given to man. Regarding the Mass, Our Lady said this in 1983:
It was Our Lady from the beginning who insisted that evening Mass be kept permanently.
October 6, 1981
What does She say to us concerning coming to the evening Mass?
January 11, 1982
Much can be learned by watching the Croatian people pray. It is a beautiful thing to participate in the Mass, side-by-side, with the Croatian people, whom Our Lady has said are a “chosen” people.
November 15, 1984
No one can really grasp the power of this united prayer that takes place each evening in Medjugorje. The whole world is represented before God at this Mass. Pilgrims should feel it as a joyful obligation to participate in the evening Mass during their time in Medjugorje.
Special Note: It is permissible to receive the Holy Eucharist twice in one day if you fully participate in both Masses, for special events or occasions. This allows you to receive Holy Communion in the morning at the English Mass, and then once again at the Croatian Mass in the evening.