Is today a day of obligation?

Hi :slight_smile:

if you’re Russian Catholic, would today be a day of obligation?

if it is, what if I’m not able to get transportation to a church… (any church) :frowning:


Anyone? :wink: what about other Eastern Catholic churches?

The Entrance of the Mother of God is one of the 12 Great Feasts in the Byzantine tradition.

It’s as close as Orthodoxy gets to the idea of “holy day of obligation.”

Obviously, if you’re unable to get to church, you can’t get there. You can’t do what you’re totally unable to.

If you are unable to get to a church, then the obligation is dispensed.

I wonder how many people leave the Catholic faith thinking that it teaches that if you have had a flat tire on the way to Sunday Mass and don’t arrive on time, you have committed a mortal sin. What an important concept to know from the age of reason, that neither the Church, nor our loving and merciful God condemns us for failing to do what we cannot reasonably do, and yet, it seems that many just see our religion as a list of obligations to meet come hell or high water.

thanks :slight_smile:

I asked because I don’t know what the teaching is in the Eastern rites. (I’m technically Eastern but attend a Latin rite parish because of my location). I don’t view my faith as a list of obligations… I just want to be a faithful Catholic, not out of fear of hell, but because this is the faith I chose to follow. If missing Mass due to circumstances outside of your control is not a sin, that’s great, and it makes sense. I wasn’t saying it is… just wondering what the East teaches.

God bless

Hi Monica,

Before responding, I read with great interest the thread you started with a title about being confused. I learned a lot from the Eastern Catholics who made such good answers to you. I would agree with you about one thing…your situation is a bit confusing. It is confusing to mix rites and that is why the Church has tried to keep them separate.

But whether you are an Eastern or Western Christian, you will grow weary of wondering if you are committing sins when you have difficulty knowing what you should do if you could as a Russian Catholic. It was a little alarming when you seemed to think it was possible that you had fallen from grace because of failing to do what is impossible.

I wish you very well Monica. I intended no offense to you personally, although it is probable I could have expressed my queryings in a way as to not so directly reflect upon you. I trust that this is a temporary time of anxiety for you that will pass. The observations of former Catholics sometimes seem to reflect a lack of appreciation for how “obligatory” practices are dispensed according to the light of common sense. Few people will live a lifetime of loving submission to an institution that is unjust.

But you explained above that you hadn’t really practised much as a Russian Orthodox, and are a recent convert to the Catholic Church. It is understandable that you might not be thoroughly catechized. Again, I hope you do not find my remarks offensive. It seems like your prospects, whether you ultimately become Eastern or Western Catholic, are very bright. You are blessed with an early zeal for your faith that should carry you through the difficulties of the present.

If I hadn’t read that other thread I would tell you to just be a Latin Rite Catholic. That may still be what you need to do. After all, we cannot do what is unreasonable, such as travel hundreds of miles every Sunday. But I perceive now that your Eastern heritage is not something to be tossed away unless really necessary. But do what you should, not worrying about what you can’t do, and move forward with a clear conscience and the knowledge that God is good.

God bless you,



I understand :slight_smile:
this whole situation has just been very painful for me. I don’t like not knowing what rite I am, and my priest is telling me that I’m Roman Catholic while people here are saying I’m Eastern. I don’t know if it would be appropriate to just ask the Bishop…

also whenever I miss an Eastern feast day or am not able to keep the fast (for example - I’m a student, and if I come home late and find that my mom made me dinner, I think it would be uncharitable to not eat because it has meat or oil) - I wonder if i’ve failed to keep my obligation as an Eastern Catholic and don’t know if I should receive Communion. Yet when I say this at Confession, my priest tells me I have nothing to worry about cause I’m Latin. I think he has a good explanation for me being Latin. But then I wonder, cause I emailed a Russian Catholic priest and he told me I’m Russian. I hope I won’t have to live my whole life in this confusion/anxiety, lol.

Then there’s the whole part in the Canon about me being allowed to follow Latin feast/penance days IF I live outside of the territory boundary of the sui iuris church… but I don’t know if I do or not. I want to speak to someone about this but priests, bishops, etc, are really busy people so I’d need to wait. I also don’t know who to talk to about this whole situation, and who to ask if I can transfer rites or not…just what my options are.

I think I want to be Roman Catholic. Not just because I don’t live near an Eastern parish and am not able to participate fully in my rite… but also because my initial decision was to become a Roman Catholic. When I converted, I didn’t know all this about sui iuris churches. I thought I’d be Roman Catholic, because of my parish, and that’s where I wanted to be. I know I was baptized and confirmed Orthodox, but I don’t have much background in it. All I’m really familiar with is icons, and I do have several in my room… But I’m more at home with the ‘Western’ devotions, prayers, the Mass, Adoration, Rosary, etc. I think maybe that’s because I initially discovered the Church through the Latin rite. For some Orthodox who become Catholic, their only intention is to be in communion with the Pope, and they really want to keep their customs. So the Eastern rites fit them perfectly, they don’t even have to use the filioque if they don’t want to. I never had customs or practiced any traditions… I wanted to become Catholic not just because of the Pope - thought that was a big part of it - but because of all the rest of it, and it was all ‘Roman’.

So I don’t know… if I could go to an Eastern Catholic parish, I think I’d be interested in that. I’d also like to keep learning about the Eastern rites - whether or not I’ll stay in mine. My friend gave me a book with Russian Orthodox prayers and I’m planning to use it sometimes. But I also feel that Eastern Christianity is really unfamiliar to me, and something I have very little background in. I think all I want now is to just figure this out, so I can KNOW what I’m supposed to do, and move on with my life… In terms of growing in my faith and learning… I’d love to just focus on my relationship with God and prayer and Sacraments, and this is something I’ve been waiting for ever since I started my ‘journey’ of conversion. At every stage, there was something - whether obtaining my (nonexistent…) baptism certificates, opposition, spiritual attacks, or worrying if I’ll go to hell for leaving the Orthodox church (like some people told me I would), and now rites… but what I really wanted was to just be able to receive the Eucharist.

Lol sorry for this rant. I’m glad I’m Catholic now. I hope I’ll be able to find out what type of Catholic I am, and then make my decision about rites… I want to be participate fully in the life of my parish and this makes being Eastern Catholic difficult, because I’ll never have the same feast days, fasts, etc. I’ll see. But I’m glad God lead me to the Church, even though the journey has been frustrating sometimes, it was worth it…and I won’t leave the Church because I believe being Catholic is God’s will for me.

God bless

The Eastern ethos (especially Orthodox) is that it is the obligation of the COMMUNITY (parish or monastic) to offer a full a worship cycle as possible, especially on Sundays and Great Feasts.

This means not only the Divine Liturgy, but Vespers, Matins, and the rest of the Divine Office as is possible.

It’s the obligation (for lack of a better word) of the individual to attend as much of this as he can according to circumstances.

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