Boniface VIII, De Regulis Iuris , no. That is why Jesus can say, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. * If a member of the faithful cannot attend Mass on Sunday, that impossibility excuses the obligation. Liturgically, the readings and proper prayers for Masses like these are not going to be those of the regular Sunday Mass. the obligations and rights of all the christian faithful (cann. Rather, it moves the Catholic to a deeper mental conviction of things not seen: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). Why does the canon refer to Mass “celebrated in a Catholic rite”? To fail to do so was a violation of the third commandment and a grave sin (Num. * If a member of the faithful cannot attend Mass on Sunday, that impossibility excuses the obligation. They are unimposing. In other words, what makes a Saturday Evening Mass count for fulfilling the Sunday Obligation, The current canon law says vespere, vespers, which means 4 p.m. on our modern time telling methods. Only Mass satisfies the Sunday obligation (1983 CIC 1247-1248) under Roman Catholic canon law. This is something which is often misunderstood by Catholics (see “Why Don’t We Marry Validly Before a Ukrainian Catholic Priest? She is a Maronite Catholic, which means she is a member of one of those eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris that were discussed in “Are They Really Catholic? with a new day of rest that they called the Lord’s Day. At first glance, this may seem to be a strange choice of words. In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows: January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension –Kathleen. The signs are still there—they still hold their objective force—but I no longer notice them. Church Canon Law # 1247 states: "On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. Can. For many years now, the Sunday obligation — observed by a minority of Catholics — was in the intensive care unit. When it concerns one's obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday, there is no cut-off age. In some parts of the world, there are Catholics who have figured this law out for themselves, and are unfortunately using it as an excuse to give God the least possible worship they can get away with. So now Kathleen has the answer to her questions. 1248 §1. If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass. In accord with the provisions of canon 1246, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: "... the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See," the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States decrees that the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of … 8, "Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari." §1. Moreover, our choice to participate is salvific: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). order to fulfill our Sunday obligation. But despite our parental hardships, we recognize that we have a moral duty to be there. UsigeFebruary 25, 2017, 7:32pm WHY DO WE HAVE HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION? But Kathleen raises a good question: which Mass are we required to attend on Sundays, and are there any Masses celebrated on Sunday which don’t count? 10:37). than by uniting our offerings to that of Jesus Christ himself.” Christ does with us in the Mass what we cannot do alone: make a perfect offering to the Father. The theme of Rights and Obligations of the Laity is new in Canon Law. Ironically, the modern clergy’s pronouncements on the Sunday obligation are contradicted their own liberalized Code of Canon Law. Can a Catholic Ever Attend an Orthodox Liturgy Instead of Sunday Mass? That may surprise some folks, but that’s what canon law indicates By starting our week with the Sunday liturgy, we publicly profess with our whole being that we are sons and daughters of God and members of his Church. The following canon should be no surprise either. Canon 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body. So, for example, if a funeral Mass is celebrated on a Sunday—which is entirely possible, by the way, although for pragmatic reasons it is normally scheduled on another day of the week—attendance at that Mass would satisfy a Catholic’s Sunday Mass obligation. etc.—while other kinds can. What if you attend a funeral, or a Mass for “the celebration of a number of women religious 50+ years of consecrated life,” as Kathleen did? Even for a devout Catholic, it can be difficult to slow down and settle into a day of rest—and especially into a solemn hour of prayer and worship. As Kathleen mentions, it could very well be that the Scripture readings will be totally different from the ones you would hear at your own Catholic Church sui iuris, but that’s not a problem—attendance still fulfills your Sunday obligation. I have been properly oriented. A: The Church’s basic rules regarding Mass attendance on holydays of obligation are actually quite straightforward, and are laid out in “ Holydays of Obligation, Part I ”: Canon 1246.1 provides a list of holydays on which, in addition to every Sunday of the year, Catholics are obliged to attend Mass ( … Back in 1953, Pope Pius XII helpfully defined “vigil” for us as “not before 4 PM” (Latin text here, on p. 23), which is why we can fulfill our Sunday obligation by attending Mass on Saturday evening at 4:00 or later. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange. Some Catholics, especially parents of young children, find Sunday Mass attendance difficult. But what happens if you attend a Mass on Sunday (or Saturday evening) that isn’t actually a Sunday Mass? The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Canon Law states that the Holy Mass is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. Code of Canon Law - Book IV - Function of the Church (Cann. If the laws of the Orthodox Church allow it, the Catholic could also receive Communion (Canon 844.2; Eastern Code 671.2). Why Sunday? 208 From their rebirth in Christ, there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality regarding dignity and action by which they all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ according to each one’s own condition and function. 208 – 223) Can. The Mass presents an essential challenge to Catholics: in its slow and leisurely rhythm, in its moments of deep silence, in its demands of faith. This raises a poignant question: What has transpired that has led to this mass exit from the pews? 10:17). This is a big part of what canon 1248.1 is talking about, when it states that we satisfy our Sunday obligation by attending Mass “wherever it is celebrated in a Catholic rite.”  The canon makes it unequivocally clear that (as was discussed in “Can a Catholic Ever Attend an Orthodox Liturgy Instead of Sunday Mass?”) attending Sunday liturgy at an Orthodox church, much less a Sunday service at the church of a non-Catholic Christian denomination, does not count! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass. For this reason, a Catholic’s experience of Sunday Mass can be deceptively dry and may leave him feeling like nothing special has gone on at all. Years later, I know how to get there without the aid of signs. 1247). Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? Since the grace received in the Eucharist is not a physical or emotional sensation but a spiritual reality, it tends to leave the senses unmoved. Q:  I am a member of the Maronite [Catholic] Church. As actions of Christ and of the Church, they are signs and means by which faith is expressed and strengthened, worship is offered to God and our sanctification is brought about. This does not necessarily reflect a defect in the liturgy or the believer. Furthermore, the first and greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. Hence, St. Paul writes, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar? We are God’s first. Holy Days of Obligation. We therefore have a doubt of law, and the law does not bind unless and until Rome clarifies it. Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed. Until then the faithful are not obligated to hear any part of the liturgy of the word in order to fulfill their Sunday obligation. Enter the universal obligation, less than a century old: The Code of Canon Law of 1917 for the first time gathered this tradition into a universal law. The Sunday liturgy is mandatory, like showing up for work; and, just as skipping work can have serious consequences, so can skipping church. Most, although not all, of the other Catholic Churches sui iuris consist of groups of former Orthodox Christians who rejoined the Catholic Church in recent centuries, accepting the Pope as their spiritual head here on earth. If she attended “a Latin-rite Mass on a Sunday for the celebration of a number of women religious 50+ years of consecrated life,” she fulfilled her Sunday Mass obligation, as did everyone else who was present. The 1983 Code states that the Sunday obligation “is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite.” (Canon 1248.1). The answer to this question happens to touch on the way in which Kathleen identifies herself. 208 From their rebirth in Christ, there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality regarding dignity and action by which they all cooperate in the building up of the Body of … Can. Strictly speaking, of course, this is entirely within the law; but it’s always sad when Catholics use canon law as an excuse to do the bare minimum for God. I think it originally take precedence from the Jews beginning their days at sundown. What Happens When a Religious Who’s Vowed Poverty Becomes a Bishop? To compound this, it is primarily in the act of receiving the Sunday Eucharist—the real body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ—that the members of the Church unite themselves to their Lord and one other. We are not used to the language of the Bible readings and the prayers. In no other way is it possible to adequately give thanks (eucharistia) to God . Canon 1248.1 provides an explanation. On 12 October 2008, Fr. Although c.87 of the Old Code spoke of the rights and duties of Christians, it did not offer a list of those rights and duties. . In a sense, the Sunday Mass prepares us for the days ahead and sets the spiritual tone for the week, filling us with God’s word and grace so we might glorify the Lord with our lives. Your wedding Mass does not fulfill your Sunday obligation. The 1983 Code of Canon Law simply states: "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" (can. Without him we are nothing. We are told in the Gospels that Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week” (Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), and ever since the time of the apostles Christians have congregated on Sunday to worship God and receive the Eucharist together as one body in Christ (Acts 20:7). Edward McNamara published answers to several questions regarding the "Sunday obligation". We therefore have a doubt of law, and the law does not bind unless and until Rome clarifies it. 8, "Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari." 1244-1253) CODE OF CANON LAW ... however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass. Christians replaced the Sabbath, the last day of the week, with a new day of rest that they called the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week. If unable to ask because of language barriers, it is better to refrain rather than risk contravening the spiritual tradition of fellow Christians. 1. 840 The sacraments of the New Testament were instituted by Christ the Lord and entrusted to the Church. This has been the case from the earliest days of the Church, when the first Christian clergy established that the faithful were to gather for worship on Sunday rather than Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), since Our Lord rose from the dead on a Sunday. 1246. We might be tempted to do this, nonetheless, because Mass is not always an engaging way to spend Sunday morning. If we can fulfill our Sunday obligation by attending a Mass that is “celebrated in a Catholic rite,” that also indicates that we can attend a Mass that is being celebrated on Saturday evening or Sunday which isn’t actually a Sunday Mass. 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