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Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part I or II - Episode 14 - SSPX FAQ Series

SSPX - USA District
sspx.org - Many Catholics wonder if they should attend the New Mass, especially to fulfill their Sunday Obligation. In these videos, we’re going to show: 1) what the Sunday Obligation is and its …More
sspx.org - Many Catholics wonder if they should attend the New Mass, especially to fulfill their Sunday Obligation. In these videos, we’re going to show: 1) what the Sunday Obligation is and its limits and then 2) why Catholics are not obliged to attend the New Mass and should even avoid it.

First we must understand what our Sunday Obligation is as Catholics. As the catechism teaches, the third commandment instructs us to "keep holy the Lord's day."

To keep a day “holy” means “to set it apart” from the other days to honor God in a special way as required by the virtue of religion. It also honors the mystery of God’s rest on the seventh day of creation. From this comes the divine command of refraining from unnecessary servile work.

Under the Old Covenant, the Sabbath was observed on Saturday, but with the New Covenant, the Apostles transferred the day of rest to a Sunday to commemorate the redeeming Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Early Church, Christians would assemble on Sunday to celebrate the Savior’s salvific act with the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Church later codified the precise way in which the Third Commandment is observed. This is the “Sunday Precept” which gives Catholics a twofold obligation: 1) to attend Mass on Sunday and 2) to rest from servile work. These obligations are under pain of mortal sin. This precept of the Church is taught by the catechism: “to keep the Sundays and Holy Days of obligation holy, by hearing Mass and resting from servile work.” According to the Code of Canon Law, all baptized Catholics who have attained the age of reason must fulfill this obligation.

It is important to understand that although the third commandment comes directly from God, the way of fulfilling this commandment is given by the law of the Church. It is the Church which establishes the limits of this obligation. For instance, occasions can arise that might make attendance at Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day impractical, if not impossible. Circumstances may also oblige us by justice or charity to work on Sunday. In such cases, the Church, as a good mother, excuses us from the Sunday obligation.

A few examples of legitimate dispensation from the Sunday obligations include:
• Dangerous travel conditions, an inability to travel, or even great distances.
• Poor health.
• Preservation of a common good.
• A duty of charity or another necessity, such as caring for the sick or employment for one’s livelihood.

For particular cases which do not enter within these general limits, the parish priest is the one who has the faculty to dispense from the Sunday obligations.

For further insight and understanding, we recommend using the 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal - available at AngelusPress.org. This 1962 missal is also available in a Spanish edition.

To learn more about the Novus Ordo Missae watch Episode 7 in this SSPX video series.

For more videos, go to sspx.org and subscribe to our email list.

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