Going to Church


#1

For Catholics, is going to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation based on Sacred Tradition or Scripture or both?

If it’s based on Sacred Tradition and because Protestant’s are sola scriptura, then why would Protestant’s go to church on Sundays? If going to church on Sundays is base on Sacred Tradition and not scriptural wouldn’t the Protestant’s immediately call this a tradition of men? Finally, if your sola scriptura why go to church? :shrug:


#2

I’ve been meeting quite few online who do not attend any Church, odd, but appears to be a bit of a trend lately??


#3

It’s described in Acts, when the Apostles got together on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) to break bread together.

Although we go to Church on Sunday because it was the day that Jesus Resurrected, there’s also a practical reason.

It seems in Jerusalem the early Christians used the same synagogues as the Jews to celebrate their Mass. Since the Jews went to Temple worship on the Sabbath, it seems the poor Christians had to wait til Sunday to celebrate their Mass.


#4

Hello Alms.

This is a good question.

There is no obligation for any days in Scripture, so that comes from tradition that came long after the Apostles passed on.

If it’s based on Sacred Tradition and because Protestant’s are sola scriptura, then why would Protestant’s go to church on Sundays?

Because that is what the Scriptures say the early believers did.

If going to church on Sundays is base on Sacred Tradition and not scriptural wouldn’t the Protestant’s immediately call this a tradition of men?

Meeting with the Body on Sunday is Scriptural, as is meeting other days of the week too.

An obligation, at threat of grave sin, to meet on Sunday is tradition and is not found in God’s Word.

Finally, if your sola scriptura why go to church?

We meet out of love of communal worship, not obligation.


#5

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


#6

Amen.

Agreed.

We should not get in the habit of avoiding fellowship and communal worship. This speaks nothing of specific days of obligation, of course.


#7

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” says all that needs to be said on that topic.

Jeremy


#8

Jeremy makes a valid point, Atemi.

Any organization has rules and standards that it can rightfully expect its members to abide by.

I was talking with a Baptist woman the other day, and she whispered to me that she likes drinking Margaritas now and then. She then told me that her particular congregation would not “kick her out” for that…but she did keep it “her little secret.” There are many Baptist groups who would disfellowship her, aren’t there?

Protestant faith communities have rules, too.

It just so happens that Jesus gave some pretty awesome responsibility and authority to the Catholic Church. :yup:


#9

Both. How Sunday (the Lord’s Day)replaced the Sabbath as the Holy Day is a topic for another thread.

Briefly, The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.

The Didache is probably the oldest patristic document, from about AD 70 (before some of the NT was written). Its full title originally was The Lord’s Instruction to the Gentiles Through the Twelve Apostles and it says the following:

“But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned.”

We have an obligation to keep the Lord’s Day (which replaces the Sabbath of the OT) holy. The Bible gives us clear instruction how God instructed His people to do that.

If it’s based on Sacred Tradition and because Protestant’s are sola scriptura, then why would Protestant’s go to church on Sundays? If going to church on Sundays is base on Sacred Tradition and not scriptural wouldn’t the Protestant’s immediately call this a tradition of men? Finally, if your sola scriptura why go to church? :shrug:

Some (?) non-Catholic Christians don’t feel the Commandment to “keep holy the Sabbath day” is necessarily an obligation. Maybe they should research how the Jews consider this Commandment.

A Catholic who has been properly instructed in the Faith understands the obligation, but looks on it as a labour of Love. That is why so many attend Mass, not just on Sundays and Holy Days, but as often as possible during the week.

It is a “love affair” with the Lord.


#10

I’ll use an analogy to try and explain how I see it.

I have an obligation, because of my marriage vows, to love, honour and obey my husband. I am obliged to do so, but in reality I do so out of love.

I don’t go to Mass for “fellowship”, I go to give worship and thanksgiving to God for all the graces He has given me. Communal worship? If it was just me and the priest, and no-one else, it would be just as relevant as if there were a hundred people.


#11

:amen: :amen: :amen:

I will never understand the “need” for “fellowship” or “community worship”.

Some time ago a man came to my door looking for my input - he was a representative of a new non-Catholic church that was starting up in the area. He wanted to know why I go to church - and listed a number of options (I think these were on his data form). Fellowship was number 1, it seems. I cannot remember the others! Nowhere was “worship of God” in the list!!

He was rather taken aback when I told him that I go to Church for one reason - to worship God - and that it would not worry me in the slightest is none of the congregation ever spoke to me! He hurriedly left after that! :slight_smile:


#12

Of course your response is the best, but do not be too fast to write-off “fellowship.” The Church and scripture have a strong emphasis on solidarity and the communal aspects of salvation. We are all in this together. This important fact that should not be glossed over or minimized.


#13

I don’t go to Mass for “fellowship” but after Mass, I like to chat with those who have worshipped with me. We must be in charity with our “neighbour” if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Even a daily Mass-goer who lacks Charity when it comes to her/his neighbours, will have to answer to God for that lack.

In this sense, I try to reach out in friendship to everyone I meet, not just those at Church. I think it is even more important to do this with those who don’t attend Church with me. We are called to be the leaven in the world. We can’t do this if we just associate with those who think and believe as we do.

Sorry, that’s getting away from the topic

[quote=alms]For Catholics, is going to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation based on Sacred Tradition or Scripture or both?

If it’s based on Sacred Tradition and because Protestant’s are sola scriptura, then why would Protestant’s go to church on Sundays? If going to church on Sundays is base on Sacred Tradition and not scriptural wouldn’t the Protestant’s immediately call this a tradition of men? Finally, if your sola scriptura why go to church?
[/quote]


#14

[quote=Atemi]There is no obligation for any days in Scripture, so that comes from tradition that came long after the Apostles passed on.
[/quote]

[quote=Atemi]This speaks nothing of specific days of obligation, of course.
[/quote]

It’d be nice, Atemi, when you’re addressing a question posed by someone who clearly wants the Catholic position on the issue, if you would perhaps clearly identify your own position as your own.

I say this out of concern that the OP might (if not in this case, then in others) become confused about the Catholic position, which was why he/she asked the question in the first place.

Peace,
Dante


#15

Thats sad. :ehh: I hope the trend changes.


#16

God bless…and thanks.


#17

Indeed, the earliest converts to Christianity were Jews. These early Christians were considered to be a sect of Judaism as early as 50 A.D. I’ve read. History attests to a fire in Rome around the year 64, Emperor Nero blamed these early Christians who were known as a Jewish sect and this “sect” worshiped on Sunday (the resurrection day) distinct from the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday. When the Apostle John says he was in the Spirit on “the Lords day” (Rev 1:10) which was the eighth day he is speaking of Sunday.

If one believes the book of Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D. or after, either way there is historical evidence of the early Christians worshiping on Sunday. The farther we move along in history the more evidence we have from the early Christian writings of them worshiping on Sunday.

Wikipedia explains the fire that burned in Rome during the reign of emperor Nero and who blamed these Christians and had their leader (Peter) crucified upside down for the crime, cf. John 21:18…

"It is uncertain who or what actually caused the fire- whether accident or arson. Suetonius and Cassius Dio favor Nero as the arsonist. Tacitus mentions that Christians confessed to the crime, but it is not known whether these were false confessions induced by torture…According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible.To diffuse blame, **Nero targeted a sect called the **Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero


#18

Hi, Atemi.

However, we might be obligated to “keep the Lord’s day holy”. So, I suppose this commandment is a good bases for holy days of obligation.

So, the scriptures do say that “believers” assembled but were not obligated (if you leave out the commandment part to “keep the Lord’s day holy”).

Ok.

I think if you deliberately do not “keep the Lord’s day holy”, would be a grave sin. Maybe the Church is on to something here. If they tell us that we are obligated to go to Church/Mass and we are obedient, we keep Gods’ commandments. I guess she’s just looking after her children like any responsible mom would.

I suppose the next argument would be to dispute that holy days of obligation are tantamount to “keeping the Lord’s day holy”. I’m easily convinced that going to Church/Mass on Sunday is an obligation base on the third commandment (i.e., Scripture). But we also know that the Church obligates us to go to Church/Mass on other days besides Sunday. These other days of obligation are:

January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God;
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension;
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints;
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception;
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I honestly don’t know if there are any Scriptural bases for Church/Mass attendance obligation on these other days besides Sunday. However, I can certainly understand why these days are important.

BTW, I think if you love the Lord, it really doesn’t feel like and obligation anyway.

God bless…


#19

Agree. Amen…


#20

It always seems that the common denominator in the Catholic - Protestant disagreements is simply authority.


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