Does Mass at an SSPX chapel satisfy Sunday obligation?

Two questions:

1) Does assisting Mass at an SSPX chapel satisfy the Sunday obligation?

  • I know that such Masses are valid, but illicit.

Hence, I would suppose that it does satisfy the Sunday obligation. However, given that they are illicit, I have a second question:

2) Is it a sin (in-itself) to assist Mass at an SSPX chapel?
Since it is participation in something (i.e. Mass offered by priests who lack faculties) which is not permitted.

*Please no debating the prudence or reasons for/against attending Mass at SSPX chapels on this thread. That is not my question.

*References to authoritative sources only please, preferably from the Holy See.

*Reason for my post: Fr. Z Blog Post: Confession at regular parish but Sunday Mass at SSPX?

Ask an apologist.

They are not in Communion with the Church. But my guess would be if there was no possible way to get to another (Catholic parish in Communion with the Pope/Rome) Mass it would be okay. I would ask an apologist.

You should do a search on this site… there are several threads that discuss this at great length.

This is a very tough question to answer, and consensus is somewhat lacking. From what I can ascertain, it does fulfill the Sunday obligation; however, it’s not recommended, as it’s an act of disobedience to the Church. Here’re some online sources that seek to address such questions:
[LIST]
*]Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: SSPX and fulfilling Sunday Mass obligation
*]Fr. Kenneth Doyle: Does attending SSPX Mass fulfill a Catholic’s Sunday obligation?
*]Am I sinning by attending an SSPX chapel?
*]Is there a dispensation from the Sunday obligation while traveling?
[/LIST]

I would not consult a resource from 2005 when dealing with the validity of the Society of St. Pius X. Things have changed dramatically in only the last 5 or 6 years to the point where attending an SSPX chapel is not considered as gravely invalid as it used to be. Yes, attending one does indeed fulfill the obligation.

This seems to be a question where you will get 10 different answers depending on who you ask. Here’s my experience.

I love the Latin Mass, however, I’m a poor recent college grad (lol). The nearest diocesan approved TLM is about a 50 minute drive one way for me and just is not logistically possible right now. However, there is a TLM (SSPX) parish located about 10 miles north of me. This is basically what I was told: If you are not going out of disobedience to the Pope, then it is fine to go, I was told that they do not have faculties concerning confession, so in theory you can go to confession with a diocesan priest and go to Mass at an SSPX chapel since they have a valid Eucharist and are fully Catholic and not schismatic (Orthodox), or heretical (protestant).

That is basically what I was told in a nutshell, I have not actually been yet because I am still discerning, but I would go in a heartbeat. I am getting ready to move to central Florida, and from what I can gather that whole area is a liturgical wasteland and I do not intend on spending the next however many years in a miserable happy clappy environment, and I definitely don’t intend on raising my future kids in that. The only TLM provided near Orlando is through the SSPX, so its either that or the Byzantine Rite. I’m open to both. For me personally, and I have talked with my priest about this, bad liturgy is horrible for my soul and my spiritual life and has caused me to question my decision on becoming Catholic, traditional liturgy is more suited for my spiritual needs and prayer life, whether that be a reverent OF, TLM or Eastern Catholics, I’m going to do what I have to do to preserve my faith…That’s just my 2cents:thumbsup:


Well – attending the SSPX to avoid horrible liturgy – may end up like jumping from the frying pan – into the fire. While the SSPX has the Traditional liturgy – it will not be of spiritual benefit – if you end up turning against the Church.

Agreed, and absolutely understand that. I more than likely will be going Byzantine. As it pertains to spiritual benefit, bad OF parishes/liturgies, which are much much more common than the SSPX, are of no spiritual benefit to me, quite the opposite, it is a spiritual detriment. It might be a valid Mass, but I refuse to sit through an irreverent Mass, I’ve had to deal with that the 2 years that I’ve been Catholic and it has done nothing but damage. Other than the Cathedral, there are no solid looking parishes in all of the area I will be living in in Orlando, so either I go Byzantine or I drive to SSPX, I’m currently pullin for the Byzantine since they are in communion with the Church.


I would say – the Byzantine parish – is the way to go. One more thing – please don’t let the state of the OF(s) you have seen-- tarnish your overall view of the OF. There are many, many reverent OF’s through out the Church.

Yea I’m thinking so. Oh don’t worry, I’m not even close to thinking that. I have my own reservations about how the OF was created, but it is the Mass I attend 98% of the time. As a matter of fact, the OF Mass I attend at my university parish is Ad Orientum, with Gregorian chant, Latin and kneeling for communion! However, these are few and far between from the other places I have been.

Why attend an illicit Mass.

This church in not in communion with the Holy Mother Church.

These priest have been suspended by the Church. We all know this; thus, how can a truly faithful Catholic go against that understanding. We know that these priests should not be offering the Holy Mass - period.

When you go to receive communion, you are saying, I fully believe in, and support, what is being offered here at this Mass and the beliefs held by the presider. So in effect, you are, by attending an illicit Mass, supporting the schisms of such. It would be one thing if one did not know about the suspension, it is entirely different when the act is knowing performed (and although appearently no longer considered a grave sin to attend, I wouldn’t chance it knowing about the suspension!).

IMHO: I’d rather go to a Mass where the Hymns were rapped-out than attend an illicit Mass.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
I am blessed with a Parish that was established and ran by the Franciscans over a 100 years ago. We follow the Missal almost to the letter, sometimes the responsorial isn’t the one printed; however, it is always from the list of allowed alternates. Them Hymns are from the Missal or the book of Hymns (It’s a green hardbound titled “Gather” I think it’s the 2nd edition). IMHO, we omit the incense and use the short forms of the readings too often; however, it’s a beautiful Mass we offer and it follows the Norms as established by the Missal/GIRM.

Now while on vacation, we did have the occasion to visit two churches…

  • At one, the poor chanter, myself and two other gentlemen in the congregation, were the only ones that sang the hymns. I felt so sorry for this poor young lady - we had attended Mass at this Church before and as is normal most people had sung. Other than this, the Mass here was fairly much as the Mass in my normal Parish.
  • Yet, at another church, when we started the Our Father, they almost Hip-Hop/Rapped the prayer, which was a shock, and this was at a Cathedral. You should have seen Fr.'s face; he covered his surprise quite well; however, I think he was taken by surprise. I know I mentioned this to him on our way out, how unusual the prayer was recited. He smiled and said that yes it was. I suspect that someone was talked to later that week.

What I am trying to point out is that:

  • Walking_Home is very right to point out that not all churches are out of norms.

  • Even a good church has the occasional politics. Turns out that the young lady that sang that Sunday, without the support of the congregation proper, was chosen over a more “politically correct (read my family is better than yours - we gave more money - Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 comes to mind, just heard this Wednesday)” singer and the a smear campaign had been raging in the Parish. How embarrassing for the Pastor to have the “wolf” walking within the Church proper - brought in by the very sheep he is supposed to protect.

  • Even a Cathedral can be hijacked and the Pastor/Presider blindsided by a liberal liturgy or choir director. Fr. relies on the congregation, with proper instruction, for many of the lay ministries - and the “Wolf/Snake” stalks us at every moment.

  • Find a Church that is in communion with the Holy Mother Church.

  • If the liturgy is “Bad” in that it deviates from the Norms, ask the Pastor. Saying, I’m new here and this struck me as being odd, can you help me to understand? Perhaps, thru you, the Holy Spirit will be that wakeup call Fr. needs to get the ball rolling for change.

  • Be ACTIVE in the church, that means, getting on the committees and councils.
    I’m on the Parish council at my Church… drives me nuts when we ask people for help and ideals and they don’t step-up, yet are the first to comment and complain - these are the wolves in the pews; however, even wolves can be tamed (^_^)

It would appear that it satisfies the obligation. I think there could be an argument about receiving communion though.

I do wish they were with us ALL the way in the Church. I would attend.

If after forty years, they refuse to obey, why would they start now? I have attended loads of reverent masses over the years at different parishes, most recently at St. Victors in West Hollywood (CA). When you move, start a thread here asking for parish recommendations.:slight_smile:

Maybe things are different now, but it seems many years back when a house was put up for sale, the nearby schools and churches were usually listed. The point is maybe to some folks the whole reason for the move is to find easier access to something that is in line with their faith and with the interests of their children. Just saying.

How does attending an SSPX Latin Mass turn you against the Church?

The Prefect of the CDF (Cardinal Mueller) has indicated that the SSPX, while not in outright schism, do hold to schismatic ideas. This, when listened to, puts us into the near occasion of sin, which by definition is a turn away from God and his body on earth, the Church.

I’ve met many SSPX Catholics, mostly through other forums, and so far, the major thing they disagree with the Novus Ordo Catholics on is the Second Vatican Council. Simply put, they don’t like Vatican II, which I would say is not schismatic because there is no dogmatic weight to it.


They don’t like Vat II – the Ordinary Form of the Mass – “modernist” --thrown at our Popes. When Pope Benedict extended his hand to the SSPX – it was slapped back. I think I read in one of SSPX district sites – the upcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II – called a false canonization.

I think it’s important to make the distinction that the Society is not sedevacantist like CMRI. The SSPX does recognize the authority of the Pope; while it’s true they do not like JPII for obvious reasons, they do like Benedict, even though reconciliation was not achieved. My understanding is that they do not like Francis, as he’s viewed as a Modernist. That said, they still recognize the popes since Vatican II, even though they have strong objections against Vatican II, the NO Mass, and Modernism.

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