Importance of Sunday Mass

OK guys, bear with me here…but Im having some issues understanding something…

Sunday Mass…why is it necessary? I understand it’s good, but why is it required? Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me”…which can be interpreted many ways.

Im not trying to sound protestant…but…i just dont think mass should be a requirement for everyone. some people i would argue get alot more out of reading books, or meditation on the bible, or just plain meditation, and they are doing a much better job of keeping the sabbath holy that way.

I have ADHD…mass can be hard for me to sit through sometimes, and usually I zone out and don’t take anything in.

Sounds as if you are looking for an excuse not to attend. As a baptized Cathoic you are given the ultimate opportunity to go before the Lord your God and worship Him in a comminity of the Faithful and to, if properly disposed, to receive the greatest gift He has given us, a share in the very Body and Blood of His Son our Savior. Why would you want to deny yourself that? ADHD is not an excuse. If parents can go to mass with a slew of kids in tow who are distracting them every which way during Mass then you can sit through 40 minutes. My son was ADHD and he always found something to hold his attention. There is so much going on that he was able to focus on. He even LOVED the Easter Vigil which was over 2 hours long.

I think you need to realise just what is going on at a Mass. When you do you’ll want to be there…it’ll become the highlight of your life!

Try the link below which should help you:

radiantlight.org.uk/writings_h-t-p_mass.php

I also recommend The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn

and Jimmy Akin has produced a small booklet The ABC of Worship: Mass Appeal.

I think you’re in for a very profound surprise

I was once recently asked why not attending Mass on Sunday was a sin. At first I had difficulty answering the question other than the usual “The Church says it is” and “It is a continuation of the Sabath for the Jewish faith”.

Then I thought about it this way: what is sin other than a willful separation of ourselves from Jesus? Willfully not wanting to be with Jesus at Mass where he is truly present, willfully not setting aside one hour to worship our Lord - willfully setting ourselves apart from Jesus…that seems like a sin to me.

Steve

PS
The Lambs Supper is a great book that really brought the Mass into a new light for me. I greatly recommend it.

ARTICLE 3
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.90

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.

**
FROM THE CATECHISM**

IN BRIEF

2189 “Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Deut 5:12). “The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord” (Ex 31:15).

2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

2191 The Church celebrates the day of Christ’s Resurrection on the “eighth day,” Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord’s Day (cf. SC 106).

2192 “Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (CIC, can. 1246 # 1). “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass” (CIC, can. 1247).

2193 “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body” (CIC, can. 1247).

2194 The institution of Sunday helps all “to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their amilial, cultural, social, and religious lives” (GS 67 # 3).

2195 Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day.
**
The Sunday obligation**

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 “If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families.”

Im not trying to sound protestant…but…i just dont think mass should be a requirement for everyone. some people i would argue get alot more out of reading books, or meditation on the bible, or just plain meditation, and they are doing a much better job of keeping the sabbath holy that way.

**Attending Church, especially the Eucharistic Sacrifice, is not about “what I can get out of it.”

You didn’t think it was, did you?

As one Protestant woman said after attending Orthodox Vespers, “I know one thing–this service was NOT about me!”**

He also said to Peter, giving the Church authority to decide how His words would be carried out: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

Im not trying to sound protestant…but…i just dont think mass should be a requirement for everyone.

With all due respect, what you think is irrelevant when the Church has the authority to teach us what GOD thinks.

some people i would argue get alot more out of reading books, or meditation on the bible, or just plain meditation, and they are doing a much better job of keeping the sabbath holy that way.

It has very little to do with what you “get out of” it. It is about giving God the worship we owe Him, in the way He has prescribed through His Church. In the Old Testament, people had to offer animal sacrifices and perform other rituals. I’m not sure what they would have said they “got out of” that, but they were obeying God, and that’s what mattered. We have to be careful to guard against being so arrogant that we think we know better than Christ and His Church.

I have ADHD…mass can be hard for me to sit through sometimes, and usually I zone out and don’t take anything in

Perfect! The fact that you find it hard to sit through means that you have something of your own to unite with Jesus’ sacrifice of Calvary at which we are truly present every time we attend Mass. Don’t let your suffering go to waste; when you are at Mass, offer your boredom, distraction, etc. for the salvation of souls (your own and that of others), for the souls in Purgatory, for the conversion of unbelievers (you can offer your next Mass for my husband, who does not believe in God, if you don’t have an intention of your own), etc.

When you “zone out,” as soon as you notice it, bring yourself gently back and offer yourself to God once more. What a pleasing sacrifice that will be to Him!

The mass is the celebration of the Eucharist, where we recieve God’s grace through the sacrament. It’s important to do that. Also, we must get together and worship as the Body of Christ. If you go with a good heart, and still zone out due to your ADHD, I’m sure the Lord will be fine with that.

I can understand what you’re saying, but there isn’t a substitute for Mass.

The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life. It is nourishment, it is community, and it is how we return to the inescapable fact that we have died in Christ, been covered in His life, and been offered together with His sacrifice on the Cross, for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind. Returning to it once a week meets our *minimum *need for it!

As for the attention problem, it helps a great deal to use your reading time to study the Mass, what it is, to deepen your understanding of the rituals. It also helps to have prepared for each particular Mass, to have read the readings and reflected on them yourself beforehand. It seems counter-intuitive, I know, until you remember that being even slightly lost does not help one’s ability to ward off distraction. At least this is what I’ve found. ADHD, after all, isn’t really a deficit in attention. It is an excess of it. It may help to cultivate more ways in which the Mass succeeds in distracting you away from more trivial things.

As for paying attention to the homily, it helps to imagine that you will have to relate its main points to a third person who was not present, with the homilist standing there. Again, imagining how you would re-word what is being said or how it struck you based on your own reflections gives you more to think about. You have a mind like a collie…it needs something to do!

If you are still distracted, just stick with it, continue to show up, and give the best attention that you have to give on that day. God gave you the attention span you have to cope with. God understands. You still belong with us at Mass.

How come it’s a sin for Latin Rite Catholics to miss Sunday Mass, but not for Eastern Catholics?

I don’t think that’s true. As far as I know, all Catholics must attend Mass on Sunday.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=308779

Note that Eastern Rites Catholics must attend a liturgical service for Sunday – but that includes Vespers, Orthros or the Divine Liturgy. To miss that is to sin.

What the Eastern Church doesn’t have is the same sense of “obligation.” We are no more “obligated” to attend church on Sunday that we are to eat or breath. If we do not eat and breath we are dead meat – if we fail to attend church we are spiritually dead, and that’s much worse!

Deacon Ed

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