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Summer Sunday Mass: Obligation or Option?
BlackCordelias ^ | June 23, 2009 | Father Michael Van Sloun

Posted on 07/06/2009 2:55:56 PM PDT by NYer

Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning, so Sunday is reserved as the “Lord’s Day,” the day to remember the Resurrection and to offer our praise and worship. Sunday is the Christian “Sabbath,” a shift from the Jewish Sabbath that runs from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. God gave us the Third Commandment as a solemn obligation, not a suggestion or an option: “Keep holy the Sabbath day (Ex 20:8-11; Dt 5:12-15) (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Numbers 2174 – 2178).

Regular Sunday worship dates back to the first generation of the Church. Early Christians instinctively gathered to study the teachings of the apostles and to break the bread (Acts 2:42). The Letter to the Hebrews gets straight to the point: “We should not stay away from our assembly [i.e., the liturgical assembly, the Eucharist], as is the custom of some” (Heb 10:25).

I’m shocked by the number of people who have told me that they believe they are excused from Sunday Mass when they are on vacation or traveling. This is not the case! Church teaching is clear: “On Sundays the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass” (Canon 1247).

There are a few legitimate reasons to miss Sunday Mass: illness or disability, serving as the sole caregiverfor someone in need of constant attention, a natural disaster like a flood or a blizzard, or the absence of a priest. There is no exception for vacation or traveling {Catechism, Nos. 2180-2188).

All we have is a gift from God, so God is entitled to our weekly thanks. Time is a precious commodity, and how we spend it is a clear indication of our priorities. There are one hundred and sixty-eight (168) hours in a week, and one hour spent in worship barely puts a dent in the praise that we owe our God.

We need to put first things first, and for Christians, God comes first! If there ever was a time that God deserves extra thanks, it would be vacation time. It is a huge blessing to be able to take time off, to have the resources to travel, to have the wherewithal to enjoy a cabin or a RV or a lake home, to be blessed with the beauty of the lakes and the forests, and to have the leisure time to spend with family and friends.

The common error is to make recreational activities the starting point in building one’s weekend vacation schedule, and to relegate God and Mass to an afterthought, something to fit in if there is time left over or to be skipped entirely. The proper way is to decide on a Mass time and place first and then figure outthe rest of the weekend’s activities. Let us remain ever mindful: “It is right to give God thanks and praise!”

Source: The Catholic Spirit

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: mass; summer; sunday

1 posted on 07/06/2009 2:55:56 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

In case anyone was wondering.

2 posted on 07/06/2009 2:56:45 PM PDT by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

Go to if you will be out of town on a Sunday. You’ll find the closest church, and the times of Saturday and Sunday masses.

Great site.

3 posted on 07/06/2009 3:02:22 PM PDT by mrs. a (It's a short life but a merry one...)
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To: NYer
I enjoy going to Mass while on vacation.

One of the advantages of being Catholic is that it is relatively easy to find a church and a Mass that fits your location/schedule and the Masses are pretty well standardized so that a new church is never “weird”.

But I enjoy seeing church architecture and meeting the people from the area I'm visiting. Whether its the closeness of a small town church or the grandeur of a Cathedral (or the modern-like elegance of the big church, Mary Queen of the Universe(?) near Disneyworld).

Sometimes someone in my family complains about going to church while on vacation, but I'm a stickler for it and they've learned that its not worth taking a stand on.

4 posted on 07/06/2009 3:06:29 PM PDT by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: NYer

Paging judge Sotomayor, nominee for the Supreme Court.

Listen up, we are here to judge you first, before you get to be the SC judge.

Since you could not offer evidence that you are faithful to your Faith (even Sunday obligation wise), how are we to trust you that you would be faithful to the Constitution?

Have some self respect and withdraw on your own, Sotomayor. Don’t make a bad name for catholics.

5 posted on 07/06/2009 3:06:42 PM PDT by m4629 (politically incorrect, and proud of it)
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To: NYer

**Summer Sunday Mass: Obligation or Option?**

I can’t believe a REAL Catholic asked this question!

“Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.”

6 posted on 07/06/2009 3:11:06 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: NYer

Opportunities to attend Mass are not to be missed. There’s a phone book in your hotel or vacation rental - find the nearest church and go! You don’t *have* to donate to their building fund, but if it’s in a tourist area and they have to accommodate summer crowds, it’s a kind gesture.

7 posted on 07/06/2009 3:11:27 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Seaman Recruit Anoreth broke her foot. Prayers requested!)
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To: Tax-chick

We live in a desert resort community. So, from November through May, our population more than doubles with Snowbirds from northern states and Canada. Our Church attendance more than doubles as well. It takes a lot of volunteer parishioners to help make things run smoothly, as we even have two extra Masses. So, by all means, Snowbirds should be contributing to our collections, especially the ones who come here for two months or longer, or who have seasonal homes here.

Lots of our Snowbirds with homes here are very active in our parish, volunteering for several ministries, including facilitating Bible classes.

8 posted on 07/06/2009 3:30:11 PM PDT by CdMGuy
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To: CdMGuy
Lots of our Snowbirds with homes here are very active in our parish, volunteering for several ministries, including facilitating Bible classes.

That's great. The same thing happens where my parents live in Florida - the winter residents are active in the Catholic parish while they're in the area, and presumably in their parishes Up North during the summer.

I was thinking more of beach resorts that see more transient visitors, there for a week or a weekend. We go to Myrtle Beach regularly, because my mother-in-law lives there, and always contribute to "St. Michael's By the Sea."

9 posted on 07/06/2009 3:53:19 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Seaman Recruit Anoreth broke her foot. Prayers requested!)
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To: Salvation

Sad it even had to be posted...

I’m not praying enough.

10 posted on 07/06/2009 4:36:03 PM PDT by AliVeritas ( Pray, Pray, Pray)
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To: kidd

>>I enjoy going to Mass while on vacation.<<

Ugh, I don’t.
It’s Electric masses, as Mother Angelica put it. A shock every time you walk in.

This weekend we were at a parish in the Saginaw Diocese (known for major innovation). It was the “Light Rock” Mass with a little game show thrown in. The Cantor literally performed for us. The only song I knew was Amazing Grace (yikes!). When he sang “Lamb of God...” a little “ding” sounded after every verse.

To top it off they bowed everytime they passed the “Bible” on the Altar but had the Tabernacle squirreled away in a back room. They had two “Altar Women” who fluttered around. There was no Holy Water and no kneelers. Needless to say, we knelt on the floor.

I do not like leaving my parish.

11 posted on 07/06/2009 8:20:05 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: netmilsmom
Well, you had a bad experience, and I'm sorry for it.

We have attended mass at St. Matthew's in Washington, D.C/, Mary Queen of the Universe outside Disney World, a small church in St. Joseph, Mo. (can't remember the name right now) and the cathedral in Denver.

All were beautiful churches and had traditional masses. Mary, Queen of the Universe is especially impressive as an example of how a new building can be constructed to provide a beautiful and holy place of worship.

12 posted on 07/07/2009 4:25:35 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple

>>Well, you had a bad experience, and I’m sorry for it.<<

We’ve actually had worse!

13 posted on 07/07/2009 5:57:57 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer
I've gone to Mass in a half-dozen states, numerous cities and even a national park. Most of the time one can plan a vacation around and including where he will be on a given Sunday. Meeting my vacation Sunday obligation has at times been excruciating, and a lesson to be learned about my own pride as I battle interiorly (that's not how you do it, where's your chasuble, why didn't you wash your fingers, I'll kneel anyway) instead of focusing on Christ present in the Eucharist, angels surrounding.

So, after I check off proper matter, form and intent I try to block out the rest without giving in to the temptation to close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears.

Also: sitting in the back helps a lot.

14 posted on 07/07/2009 9:03:45 AM PDT by Lorica
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