[quote="Gneiss, post:1, topic:287859"]
If somebody is late for Mass through no fault of the own, then how late is too late? In other words, at what point in the Mass does "fulfill Sunday obligation" no longer attach?
When I was a child, I heard an adult say, "As long as we get there by the Consecration, we're OK." By "OK", she meant that she and her companions would not be committing the mortal sin of missing Mass without a good reason.
So, is it true that the Consecration is the cut-off point? I am skeptical of what that adult said because she seemed had an attitude that it was OK to deliberately late for Mass, provided that one arrives before the Consecration.
If someone is late through no fault of their own then the arrival time there is not relevant.
Apart from that you will hear different opinions about what constitutes being late for Mass but the bottom line is that the Church has no document about this. The Church simply states you must participate in Mass but does not specify when you have to get there and how long you have to stay in order for your obligation to be fulfilled.
As for my 75 year old priest friend and mentor this is his opinion:
"For the essentials of the Sacrificial Meal of the Mass you have to be present at the Offertory, (hence if you come into the Church after the Offertory you have not attended the Eucharist), the Consecration and Holy Communion (hence you must not leave the Church until the Priest has received Holy Communion)."
"Without a good reason one should not leave the Church until after the Final Blessing (and the final hymn). Some people leave before the Final blessing and the Final Hymn giving the impression that they have fulfilled a burdensome obligation as a minimum requirement, instead of rejoicing they they have encountered the living glorious risen Lord, the greatest possible privilege the Lord can confer on us."