Holy Day Obligation in the Eastern Rite

My husband and I were both baptized in the Latin Rite but we attend an Eastern Rite Church (my husband has attended since he was a small child). In that church, the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on the 9th instead of the 8th. Is it all right for us to attend the Liturgy tomorrow instead of a Mass today, to fulfill our oblligation?

As a Latin Catholic you are bound by the laws of the Latin Catholic Church.

The USCCB has made December 8th, the Immaculate Conception on the Latin Church Calendar, a Holy Day of Obligation.

So technically I believe that you must fulfill that obligation today.

Actually, the USCCB is not a synod so they are not the ones who have declared it to be a Holy Day of Obligation. In the Chaldean Church, we have not had a synod to specify these days, on our caldender its marked “Liturgical day of obersavtion” however.

but for the OP I think you would need to observe the Latin Church calender.

You might want to take a look at this Cannon…

usccb.org/norms/1246.htm

thanks

I think the part that stuck out the most was:

§2: However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See.

Perhaps this is a wishy-washy way of looking at it, but maybe the spirit of the law should govern here in that the day is a bit less important than taking the time on either day, at some point, to celebrate this solemnity in the divine liturgy.

It is clear from a read of the USCCB decision and promulgation that it established, per canon law, those days of obligation for the latin rite.

So it you are latin rite, you are obligated.

I am also Latin Rite by baptism, who attends exclusively at a Byzantine Rite Parish and have not yet made an official transfer of rite. I will be attending the Byzantine Rite Service instead of the Latin and my conscience is completely clear.

Mike L.

You can fulfill your latin obligations at a liturgy of the day of any rite, even if said liturgy is for a different feast.

The Eastern Catholic Church is in full communion with the Vatican. The Pope himself recognizes the calendar of the Eastern Catholic Church regarding holy days and feast days. Therefore, it seems rather pointless to question its legitimacy.
Latin and Eastern Catholics may fulfill their obligations and receive the Eucharist in either right, as in the eyes of the Church itself, there is no division between the two.

cleirigh - I strongly encourage you to make an appointment with your priest and discuss all of your questions with him so that you have clarity and peace.

Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!

I know this topic is a year old, but I wanted to say something in response to the last reply.

Of course we would not question the legitimacy of an Eastern Catholic Churches calendar. Of course if you are a member of that particular Church you should observe the holy days that they prescribe. But the issue here is not the legitimacy of the Eastern calendar, but the fact that the inquirer in question was not technically under an Eastern Catholic authority but still technically a Latin Rite Catholic. Even if they "feel" more Byzantine at heart and attend Eastern liturgies every week, unless they make a formal change of rite they are supposed to celebrate the Holy Days prescribed by their current Latin Rite Bishops. They are to be celebrated on the correct day, though they could be fulfilled at any Catholic Church. So if they went on December 8 to a Byzantine Church in the spirit of fulfilling and celebrating the day, even if that Church were celebrating a different day, it would still fulfill the obligation to attend. Though in my opinion, it is best to go somewhere actually officially celebrating the day in question if possible.

I know that this is confusing, but unless the Church formally recognizes you to be an Eastern Catholic you remain under the canon rules of the Latin Rite. After all, you can not be under two Bishops at the same time, neither can you be under none and just pick and choose.

You are free to keep extra specific Eastern traditions, holy days, fasting ideas etc as much as you like (though with help from a pastor or spiritual guide in some cases perhaps). The only issue is not in keeping any of the beautiful Eastern customs, but neglecting the Latin Rite canon laws because of them while still technically under the Latin Rite Bishop. So you kind of have to pay attention somewhat to both if attending a different rite than you are actually a part of. And being a member of an Eastern Church is not the same thing as simply being enrolled in and attending that Church as your home church, but rather actually being recognized canonically as Eastern Rite Catholic.

I know that this is confusing, but unless the Church formally recognizes you to be an Eastern Catholic you remain under the canon rules of the Latin Rite.

You'll have to indicate where this specific provision is stated. Every Latin canon laywer I have spoken or corresponded with regarding the transition of Latins to Eastern Catholic parishes is in agreement that a Catholic can attach themselves to the particular traditions of the parish they wish to attend regularly or are discerning joining if of another particular ritual tradition. Also attempting to follow a different set of spiritual obligations while participating in the parish life of a different particular ritual Church can lead to hybridizations or syncretisms which are discouraged by both Rome and the particular Catholic Eastern Churches.

You can't know what you are getting into spiritually unless you actually participate in that particular tradition. Otherwise the discernment will be faulty and uninformed. Every Catholic has the free will to attach themselves and be faithful to any particular ritual tradition without being unnecessarily burdened or shackled by the "law".

This is essentially the same question that appeared recently in another [thread=292183]thread[/thread] in this forum. My experience as stated [post=6088014]there[/post] continues to say that your assessment is correct. :slight_smile:

IMHO this should be done under the care and direction of either a spiritual director (this would be the ideal) or the pastor.

I would suggest, in obedience, to do as they say.

No need (again IMHO) to consult with a Canon Lawyer or even the bishops (until one is ready to formally change churches).

I have to agree with those who upheld Canon Law … if you are Latin Rite, go on the days you are bound to go as a Latin Rite Catholic.

All other issues aside, we are talking about a positive obligation to go do Mass … unless it is an undue burden, just go! Go on both days, Dec 8th and 9th!

If you can only go one day, what a beautiful thing it would be to choose Dec 8th as a personal sacrifice, out of obedience to the Church’s law.

In the long term, why not become canonical members of the Eastern Rite?

[quote="newyorkcatholic, post:15, topic:134334"]
I have to agree with those who upheld Canon Law ... if you are Latin Rite, go on the days you are bound to go as a Latin Rite Catholic.

All other issues aside, we are talking about a positive obligation to go do Mass ... unless it is an undue burden, just go! Go on both days, Dec 8th and 9th!

If you can only go one day, what a beautiful thing it would be to choose Dec 8th as a personal sacrifice, out of obedience to the Church's law.

[/quote]

Whose interpretation of Canon Law though. Even mine, which sided with you to begin with but I have been won over by the other side now, is the interpretation of a lay person. When one wants a true answer they should consult their pastor, spiritual director, bishop, and/or a Canon Lawyer. It seems that some here have consulted a Canon Lawyer and get a different answer than what lay people have decided.

I would stick with the experts over what a lay interpretation comes up with.

In the long term, why not become canonical members of the Eastern Rite?

Part of the requirements of changing Churches is a time of practicing within the new Church before applying for a change.

Hence the issue.

In the East we do not like the word "obligation".

In my view, if you are only going to fulfill an "obligation" then why go at all?

I know we do not like the word obligation. I do not like it either. But I still (even as a Byzantine) agree that there is sin present in willfully missing a Holy day or Sunday without an illness or other adequate reason (yes there can be a few of course). So though the term seem weird, because we should want to go. It still makes sense on a certain level, and I do not mind using that language here for now.

Now let me be up front. If I am wrong, I apologize. I would hate to be responsible for misleading anyone. But what I share hear is my current belief. I am not a canon lawyer.

Someone asked me to show them in canon law why I believe like I do. But with all due respect. I think that the burden of proof would be on you to show me in canon law that there can be exceptions to following the normal canon law for the rite that you technically still belong to, just because you practice at another rites parish. Without this being specifically mentioned, then I do not see how you can hold to it being that case.

Catholicism is a religion where we believe in a visible church with visible leadership. Obviously the Pope is the guy at the top, but for most of us, the person put in charge of each of us and our pastors would be our Bishop. Because our church is visual I believe that every person must be under the authority of a Bishops care. Someone that would be able to formally recognize this. This is why I think that one is expected to be faithful to one's Bishop's authority and practice even if discerning joining an Eastern Church. Because until it is formally recognized that you have made a change of rite, you must be technically under some visible persons authority and canon laws. I do not think it seems Catholic to me to just personally determine that you do not like that person so you will ignore their authority and follow another's. What is to stop you from changing back and forth every three months?

I spent a year or more in an Eastern Catholic parish before formally changing rites. I know of the importance of fully trying on that outfit before deciding to purchase it. There is a lot to it and it does take time to discern if it is right for you. But I think that one can do that simply by keeping the extra disciplines and feasts that it has that do not interfere with latin rite practices. Such as the Dormition or St. Peter and Paul fast or lenten practices etc. But there is at least one practice that a Latin Catholic simply can not participate in until they are fully incorporated into the Church. Say that you have small children. If you are Byzantine they are free to take communion from infancy. But say you are discerning if you want to become Byzantine, and therefore you are emotionally and spiritually trying to follow Byzantine customs and calendar etc. You would think that part of discerning if it was right for you would be to bring your children for Communion, since this is what you would have to believe and want to participate in in order to know if this Church was right for you. But unless you are Byzantine formally, you can not bring your children for Holy Communion in a Byzantine Church if they have not made first Communion in the rite that they belong to.

Lastly, say that a Byzantine member was discerning changing rites to the Latin Rite. Would you recommend that they then ignore the fasts of the Church that they still formally belong to in order to discern what being a Latin Rite Catholic means. After all, Catholics seldom if ever fast on wednesdays or abstain from meat and dairy or fast before the dfeast of St Peter and Paul etc.

Again, I am not saying that I know the answer but I am presenting my case for what I think the answer is. If I am wrong, I would love to be able to be shown that I am wrong.

Brian

[quote="exarctly, post:17, topic:134334"]

Someone asked me to show them in canon law why I believe like I do. But with all due respect. I think that the burden of proof would be on you to show me in canon law that there can be exceptions to following the normal canon law for the rite that you technically still belong to, just because you practice at another rites parish. Without this being specifically mentioned, then I do not see how you can hold to it being that case.

[/quote]

For me all that matters is that some who have had this issue consulted with a Canon Lawyer and were told the opposite of what you believe (and I used to believe) to be true. I do not feel the need to support it any more than that.

If I am ever asked about this I will tell the person to consult their pastor, spiritual director, a Canon Lawyer, and/or their bishop. That is enough. As I am none of those I would not provide any answer as any answer that I did provide would be pure opinion and speculation that I am untrained to give.

[quote="ByzCath, post:18, topic:134334"]
For me all that matters is that some who have had this issue consulted with a Canon Lawyer and were told the opposite of what you believe (and I used to believe) to be true. I do not feel the need to support it any more than that.

If I am ever asked about this I will tell the person to consult their pastor, spiritual director, a Canon Lawyer, and/or their bishop. That is enough. As I am none of those I would not provide any answer as any answer that I did provide would be pure opinion and speculation that I am untrained to give.

[/quote]

Boy you have certainly changed your tune!! :) Happy New Year!

[quote="Chaldean_Rite, post:5, topic:134334"]
thanks

I think the part that stuck out the most was:

§2: However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday **with prior approval of the Apostolic See**.

[/quote]

The Holy Days of Obligation as set by the USCCB and approved by the Apostolic See for Latin rite Catholics in the United States can be found here:

usccb.org/liturgy/q%26a/general/obligation.shtml

I had a similar question regarding different solemnities and feasts within the Latin and Eastern rites, which fall on the same day. More specifically, I was planning to attend Qurbono (Divine Liturgy) at a Maronite Catholic Church on January 1st, but was not sure if the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord would fulfill my obligation as a Latin rite Catholic to attend Mass on the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God. At the end, I decided to attend Mass at a Latin rite parish.

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