If Solemnities (like today August 15th) are kind of like extra Sundays, why do the vigil masses have different readings and why don't Saturday evenings have a different set of readings from the Sunday readings? And is there anything notable between the kinds of readings that are in the Vigil Mass vs Mass during the day?

I noticed today, for the Assumption, that the Gospel during the day was the whole Visitation, and the Vigil Mass Gospel was almost exactly the opposite (depending on ones reading of the Bible). So they seem to have something to do with each other, but I'd like to know more about the way the readings are chosen for solemnities.

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    This might have to do with the fact that vigils of major feasts already existed in the traditional Catholic liturgy, long before Vatican II (and long before Vatican I and ..., but I digress). These vigils were separate liturgical events and had their own masses, and these may have survived the Vatican II changes. Saturday evening masses that "count" for Sunday, in contrast, were (as far as I know) introduced in the 1960's and the main purpose was to not treat them differently than the following Sundays. So they were not given separate masses. – Andreas Blass Aug 15 '18 at 22:59
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    Vigil masses introduced under Pope Paul VI are in fact anticipated masses for the following day (Sunday or a particular Solemnity). Vigil Masses of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are truly the day before a solemnity are were clearly not an anticipated mass. In fact they were of a different color (Violet) and were often days of fasting. – Ken Graham Aug 16 '18 at 12:54
  • The term "vigil mass" for a Saturday evening celebration is confusing. The (very few) genuine vigil masses are a different creature entirely. – lonesomeday Aug 17 '18 at 9:48

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