Did I fulfill my Sunday Mass obligation?


I’m not scrupulous and stay til the final blessing 99% of the time. However, during yesterday’s Sunday Mass, about 10 grammer school kids were getting baptized and some confirmed as well. The priest had a long homily and then began the baptisms which were concluded 1 hr into the Mass. Subsequent to this, the priest began the confirmation rite. I left before the rite and before the liturgy of the Eucharist. I’m sure that the Mass would have lasted another 30-40min. Did I attend Mass (fulfill the obligation) even though I left before the Eucharistic prayers?


You should have stayed for at least the beginning of Communion. The old rule was to arrive by the start of the Gospel and stay for the beginning of Communion, that may have changed, so I would bring it up in confession at your next available opportunity.


This is a question for your pastor in confession.

There are no “rules” regarding when you can come and go from Mass and have it “count”. Your obligation is to attend the whole mass.

Did you attempt to attend another Mass?


There has never been such a “rule”.


I think you meant: there has never been such a rule (no quotation marks).

It most certainly was the “rule” I was taught, back in the 1950’s.

Then, again, I was also taught the “rule” that one was absolutely NOT to chew the Host.

Maybe it all depended on which set of sisters were teaching.


It may depend on a number of other issues (and since we are not confessors, we don’t need to know); as noted, it would be best to bring it up with your confessor, asap. Normally, you are to attend all of the Mass and what “all” means is for you and your confessor; but normally, attending at least until Communion would be considered necessary (and the reasons for leaving before the end a matter of necessity, not convenience).

You question is a bit akin to being asked to a formal dinner, and you leave before the entre. Have you insulted your host?


Despite the protestations some would make that there are no “rules”, one can easily determine what constitutes Mass through reason. You missed the Consecration, which is the defining moment of the Mass. So no, given the information given, you missed Mass and did not fulfill your obligation.

And again, despite the protestations of some, there were indeed guidelines laid down by moral theologians that are not without merit. The essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass lay in the Offertory, Consecration and the Communion of the priest (or, a slight variant, “chalice veil to chalice veil”), and that these were the bare minimum for the purposes of obligation.

Today, moral theologians hesitate to use such defined lines, but again, reason tells us that missing the Consecration (without which there is no Mass), definitely constitutes missing Mass.

And that said, anything you read here is nothing but Internet opinion. Take this to your confessor as we do not know why you did what you did.


I beg to differ. I was taught this when I was a boy in a Jesuit Parochial School over60 years ago…well before the reforms of V II…And, I am cursed with a photographic memory.


I beg to differ. I was taught this when I was a boy in a Jesuit Parochial School over60 years ago…well before the reforms of V II…And, I am cursed with a photographic memory.


So, did you forget that you had already posted this? :smiley:


Will confess this asap. Don’t know what I was thinking. For some reason I thought since I stayed for 1 hour (the usual length of Mass) that that would suffice.


When you say rule, people think you mean a teaching actually propagated by the Church. Not “what sister told me”. Because it is not now, and never has been, a teaching of the Church that we can arrive at X time or depart at Y time and satisfy our obligation.

Rossalyn needs to talk to her pastor. If she had to leave for a valid reason-- such as having to be at work, having to care for an infant or a sick person, or some other legitimate reason then she did not commit a sin. But, if she just left b/c she didn’t want to stay for the whole thing, that’s another matter.


Yes, the sign of the cross that opens the mass and the dismissal that says “the Mass has ended”.

The so-called guidelines were never part of Church teaching, nor canon law. They were people’s opinions, and apparenty what sisters taught kids in school.

The obligation is to attend the whole Mass. One needs to take up with their pastor their particular situation.

If we have a reason we have to leave-- we get sick, someone in our care gets sick, an emergency arises, then we have not failed in our obligation. If we arrive late because of weather, bad roads, a flat tire, care of a small child, etc, we also have not failed in our obligation.


I do not doubt you were taught it by well meaning sisters. But it was NEVER a Church teaching-- not ever.

There is no canon law, no liturgical rubric, no document that will support this idea of a “when you can arrive and leave” rule. It doesn’t exist. It didn’t exist 60 years ago and it doesn’t exist now.


These were good guidelines and while they would not be backed up by any Church law, they did make sense and one can safely form their conscience accordingly, because the theology behind them was sound.

In the case of the OP, the Consecration was missed. This is a clear and definite indication that the obligation was not met. Whether there was culpability or the degree thereof is between the OP and the confessor.


Common sense would tell me that if an individual shows up for Mass just before the Gospel reading, there is much that has been missed and therefore very tardy and not good practice.


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