Mass on Monday instead of Mass on Sunday?


#1

Hi all,

I have a somewhat complicated question here (or is it really complicated - maybe it is an easy one).

I am organizing a training event for some of the members of my club - all of them are catholic - and it extends over the weekend. We will have a priest visit to say Mass, but due to his schedule he will not be able to visit on Saturday or Sunday, so the Mass will be on a regular weekday.

As those of you who organize training events may know, time is always limited, and so the question came up if we couldn't skip sunday mass because the time the only Mass nearby is held is quite inconvenient and would kind of "mess up" our schedule - and we would attend Mass anyway shortly after Sunday.

So - can the priest say a Mass on a weekday that would basically fulfill the sunday obligation - ie using Sundays readings, etc.? Or would we need a dispensation from the local pastor (or each individual from his/her own pastor?) - would we be eligible for such a dispensation anyway?

And YES, I know, we SHOULD of course try to get to Mass on Sunday, but in this special scenario and the experiences from earlier similar events, we all prefer to attend Mass with "our" priest - explaining all the circumstances would make a whole book out of this post, however.

Thanks for your answers!


#2

To me, every effort should be made to go on the proper day. Monday is no substitute for a sat / sun mass. What's more important to you?

Give up a couple of hours on your training event to visit a local Catholic Church. This is the only way.


#3

The pastor can transfer or dispense the obligation for a valid reason. Now, whether he might consider the circumstances in the OP as "a valid reason" is a different question, but there'd be no harm in asking him.


#4

[quote="malphono, post:3, topic:319265"]
The pastor can transfer or dispense the obligation for a valid reason. Now, whether he might consider the circumstances in the OP as "a valid reason" is a different question, but there'd be no harm in asking him.

[/quote]

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not just any old pastor, or even the pastor of the place in which you find yourself on Sunday, but rather, each person's individual pastor who has the ability to dispense the obligation. So, each participant would have to get his own pastor's dispensation individually (unless everyone is a member of the same parish, in which case he could dispense the group from the obligation).

Btw... have you tried to get a priest to come in on Sunday evening? Maybe you could convince one to come and offer him dinner afterward...? Even if it's not the priest who you're already planning to invite, isn't there any priest that anyone knows who might be able to make it at some point Sunday afternoon or evening? (After all, without knowing the nature of your training, it doesn't seem as if it might be impossible to shift your schedule by one hour at some point on Sunday in order to accommodate a priest's schedule! (Or is that the problem? Did you only go to priests, asking specifically, "are you free on Sunday at 10am?"))


#5

This is for the purposes of a “club” meeting?

No - Mass trumps a club.

If you need to meet two weekends in a row to accomplish what you need to do, then do that, but ensure that your club members have the ability to get to Mass when they are supposed to.

This is a unique opportunity and responsibility that YOU have as organizer to set the priority for your club. What’s more important? What example do you wish to set for them as a leader?

~Liza


#6

The strangest part of this, which I can't figure out, is why the priest in question doesn't know that it is impossible to complete a Sunday obligation with a Monday mass.


#7

[quote="LeMat, post:1, topic:319265"]

As those of you who organize training events may know, time is always limited, and so the question came up if we couldn't skip sunday mass because the time the only Mass nearby is held is quite inconvenient and would kind of "mess up" our schedule - and we would attend Mass anyway shortly after Sunday.

[/quote]

I see it the other way around. Going to Mass at that church's set time is not inconvenient. One should attend Mass with joy. It shouldn't "mess up" the schedule, because the event schedule can be planned around Mass attendance.


#8

Thanks for your replies so far.

I personally have made my decision anyway - as I’m organizing the whole thing I don’t have to be on-site 24/7 (training’s not for me but the club members) and so I will attend at the local church on Sunday morning. In the last years, we all attended that Mass but we didn’t feel that welcome (rural parish where everony knows everyone - and suddenly there’s a bunch of people normally not being there - gave us more than one strange look from the parishioners)

Getting another priest is about to be very, very difficult no matter what time…in fact, I’m glad “our” priest has the time to stop by on Monday. It’s a busy time for priests this time of year.

To add things up, although all of the participants are catholic (we are a catholic club), they are all teenagers/young adults and yet do not exactly fall in the category of being “practising, orthodox catholics”. So in fact, if they would be at home, I doubt that they all would attend Sunday Mass. But as they are not at home, but under my guidance, I have somehow a feeling that tells me I have to let them go to Mass on Sunday (I’m not talking about forcing them to Mass, can’t do that…). @Liza - you are talking about exactly the things that bothered me when posting this.

@dshix: In fact the priest never said that we would fulfill our Sunday obligation with the Monday mass (haven’t asked HIM about THAT yet), he just knows that he will be with us on Monday and that there will be a talk with the participants followed by a Mass. That’s why I posted here in the first place, so that I wouldn’t have to ask him about it.

But all of you are quite clear in your answers anyway, so I guess the best thing to do is to ask the priest himself about that and what he would recommend given the circumstances.

Thanks to everyone - if someone still does have new input, please just post!


#9

Ok, that’s good that you can attend Mass on the Sunday.

The hospitality or lack thereof should be of no concern when you come to fulfilling your Sunday obligation. It’s still the sacrament!

If there are any other Catholics at this training event, tell them about the Mass option and invite them.


#10

Oh please. Sometimes I get really weary of the “we got strange looks” excuse people seem to put out as a reason to avoid a particular parish. So what if you got strange looks? People are naturally curious. Just because people looked at a large group of people coming in does not mean there was anything bad in the look.

I suggest you schedule free time for Mass at the time this local nearby parish has Mass and people can decide to go or not. Also, call up the pastor of that parish and let him know that there may be a group of X people coming as visitors. That way they are prepared with the proper amount of hosts and such. If they knew you were coming they may be more prepared for the influx into their small church.


#11

I live in a rural area and it’s true that everyone knows everyone in the parish. However, it doesn’t mean that the parish won’t welcome “strangers”. Just let the priest know ahead of time that Such-and-Such group will be attending the whichever-time Mass, and maybe an announcement can be made that St. Whatever Parish welcomes the Such-and-Such group who is joining us for Mass today. Also, introduce yourselves to the ushers as you enter the church, and chat with the parishioners as you leave after Mass. It’s very easy to make friends. The fact that you are visitors should not keep your group from attending.

I would also argue that the fact that your group consists of somewhat non-practicing Catholics is all the more reason to attend Mass. You must set an example for these kids. What does it say when you hold a Catholic event and don’t practice the faith???

Rather than seeing Mass as an inconvenience that uses up your valuable time, your event should be built around attending Mass as the focal point of the day. What are Catholics about if not to give God the worship that He is due?


#12

Canon 1247
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also 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.

Canon 1248
1. 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.
2. 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.

Since a "grave cause" is needed to excuse one from this obligation it would be a serious or mortal sin to willfully skip Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, as the Church has always taught. Reasons such as the necessity to work to support one's family, child care, personal sickness or the care of the sick, necessary travel etc. would excuse a person on a particular occasions. Those who have continuing reason to be excused should consult their pastor.

If a priest is not available in an area and only a Liturgy of the Word or a Communion Service is offered the Mass obligation does not "transfer" to such services. As canon 1248 notes, participation is recommended for the spiritual value, especially if Communion is distributed.

The proper way to celebrate Sunday is spoken of at length in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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."

A day of grace and rest from work

2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done," human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.

2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days.

P: In nomine Patris, + et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Introibo ad altare Dei. R: Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.


#13

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#14

:confused:


#15

When my children are away over a weekend, we look at a few options to make sure they meet their obligation to attend Mass on Sunday.

We look to see if its possible we can pick them up and take them to Sunday Mass or the Vigil Mass on Saturday.

If they are too far away and one of us can go along with the group, we leave the event and attend Mass at a parish near the event.

In our absence, we ask the organization if they can find a way to take our child to Mass.

We have never been left with our child not being able to attend Sunday Mass due to their very active life style and involvement with lots of organizations outside the Church.

There are two case that were exceptions. One of our sons attended the Boy Scouts Philmont Scout Ranch for a very extended trek. The bishop of that diocese allows a dispensation from Sunday’s Mass. The boys do get to attend Mass, but mostly likely not on Sunday. A priest can not make his way to every site on the trek where all the boys are on Sunday. Troops are each on a long adventure throughout the stay and are mostly traveling by foot. Therefore, when they are at a site with a priest that is the day they attend Mass to fulfill their obligation.

The other exception was my son who sailed around the world with Semester at Sea. There is no priest on board the ship. We spoke with our bishop who told my son that he is not obligated to do what can not be done. He suggested my son attend Mass in the various countries he was exploring even though it may not be Sunday.

Our Military are in a similar situation on deployment missions. A priest can not make it to every site to offer Mass on Sunday with each soldier.

One is not obligated to do what they can not possible do - such as a military soldier being able to attend Mass when there is no priest offering Mass near by.

If I was the parent of someone on your adventure (or even myself today) and you told me that you understood the importance of meeting your obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday, and you were going to attend Mass, but due to the information you provided here you were not helping my child attend Mass - I would not be happy.

It does not matter if you did not feel welcome in the nearby parish once before - God does welcome everyone.

If I was arranging this weekend adventure, I would contact the parish and let them know that I had a group who would be attending their Mass on Sunday. The priest may even mention and welcome the group as Mass begins. Sometimes they place information on the visiting group in the bulletin.

My adult children continue to find a Mass to attend where ever they are. They are very adventurous with travels on weekends with friends, but they find a way to attend Mass.

God will bless you for your efforts in making sure all the needs are met of those attending -meals, showers, beds, and Mass.

You set an example by teaching these young adults the importance to attend Mass… or to not attend.


#16

[quote="dshix, post:14, topic:319265"]
:confused:

[/quote]

Sorry, I was trying to edit my previous post but accidentally ended up making a new post! I wanted to get rid of it, but since we can't delete our posts, I just put ....
:blush:


#17

[quote="jpjd, post:16, topic:319265"]
Sorry, I was trying to edit my previous post but accidentally ended up making a new post! I wanted to get rid of it, but since we can't delete our posts, I just put ....
:blush:

[/quote]

You have ten minutes of time after posting the post in which you may delete it.


#18

I did not realize that! Thanks for the info.


#19

As the person “in charge” of these young people, you have a special responsibility to make sure nothing that you do makes it hard for them to attend Mass.


#20

Thanks to everyone for your answers. I've decided now (and my co-leader had to accept ;)) that we will all be going to Mass on Sunday morning at the local parish (which indeed is really local, it's the building next to ours) AND have Mass with our priest the following day. I didn't reach our priest yet but will hopefully meet him tonight and maybe he can call the local pastor to announce our coming, as he has to make final arrangements regarding our use of the church for "our" Mass anyway, I guess.

Adjusting the timetable was a bit tricky but worked out in the end - without major losses.

Thanks for your support!


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