Participation in the Mass necessary for salvation?


#1

I attended a Southern Baptist college and still keep up with many of my former classmates. The topic of the Eucharist came up and one asked me point blank if “participation in the Catholic Mass is necessary for salvation”. What does the Church teach concerning this and how can I explain it to her in a charitable way? Thanks in advance for your help. God bless you!


#2

If receiving Holy Communion was necessary for salvation, the Catholic Church would not postpone First Communion until later childhood but instead would insist on giving Holy Communion to infants when they are baptized.

However, Jesus, in His usual hyperbolic way of speaking, does seem to make receiving Holy Communion at least a normitive Christian practice.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. (John 6:51-56)


#3

What Todd said. It is morally necessary, but not absolutley necessary.

Scott


#4

Folks, you may have picked this one up incorrectly. The original poster is asking is participation in the Holy Mass necessary for salvation and not is reception of Holy Communion necessary!

Of course for those of us who have made our First Holy Communion participation in the Holy Mass is necessary because participation in the Cross is necessary. If you miss Holy Mass without serious reason then you have committed a mortal sin and as long as you remain in it have lost your salvation. Catholics are bound to attend Sunday Mass unless there is a grave reason for non attendance.

Remember that it is a beautiful gift to be able to receive Holy Communion during Holy Mass but it is not absolutely necessary ie if the Priest runs out etc. This does not affect your salvation.

So yes Participation in the Holy Mass is necessary for salvation.


#5

[quote=Fergal]Folks, you may have picked this one up incorrectly. The original poster is asking is participation in the Holy Mass necessary for salvation and not is reception of Holy Communion necessary!

Of course for those of us who have made our First Holy Communion participation in the Holy Mass is necessary because participation in the Cross is necessary. If you miss Holy Mass without serious reason then you have committed a mortal sin and as long as you remain in it have lost your salvation. Catholics are bound to attend Sunday Mass unless there is a grave reason for non attendance.

Remember that it is a beautiful gift to be able to receive Holy Communion during Holy Mass but it is not absolutely necessary ie if the Priest runs out etc. This does not affect your salvation.

So yes Participation in the Holy Mass is necessary for salvation.
[/quote]

So does this only apply to Catholics who have received their first communion or does it apply to all people Catholic, protestant, non-Christian, baptised and non-baptised?

Actually, you can read the discussion we are having on a blog at this link [xanga.com/item.aspx?user=prncssjanie&tab=weblogs&uid=333627103user=prncssjanie&tab=weblogs&uid=333627103](“http://www.xanga.com/item.aspx?user=prncssjanie&tab=weblogs&uid=333627103user=prncssjanie&tab=weblogs&uid=333627103”).

Check it out. I’d appreciate any advice on how to respond. God bless.

FYI my user name on there is tlaschon. You need to click on the right side of the above link for some reason. If that doesnt work you can get the page by copy and pasting into address line.


#6

[quote=EsclavoDeCristo]I attended a Southern Baptist college and still keep up with many of my former classmates. The topic of the Eucharist came up and one asked me point blank if “participation in the Catholic Mass is necessary for salvation”. What does the Church teach concerning this and how can I explain it to her in a charitable way? Thanks in advance for your help. God bless you!
[/quote]

the only Sacrament necessary for Salvation is Baptism, assumming that one dies before committing any grave sins. Otherwise Reconciliation may also be necessary.


#7

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]the only Sacrament necessary for Salvation is Baptism, assumming that one dies before committing any grave sins. Otherwise Reconciliation may also be necessary.
[/quote]

And since the Mass isn’t a Sacrament…

– Mark L. Chance.


#8

I was taught that every day we make choices to turn toward Jesus or away from him. When we depart from this Earth, will we be choosing Jesus by attending mass (at least once a week) or choosing a life that leads us away from Him.

I was also taught the more you learn about Jesus, the higher the expectation for following him. Did one truly understand Jesus’ eucharistic promise and what missing it (or not having it) entails? etc.

Outside of sacraments, I guess a question would be why one goes to Mass - Does one go to mass each week to truly worship and accept the sacrament or to just check the block?


#9

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]the only Sacrament necessary for Salvation is Baptism, assumming that one dies before committing any grave sins. Otherwise Reconciliation may also be necessary.
[/quote]

But deliberately and willingly missing Sunday Mass or a holy day of obligation without a proper excuse is a mortal sin. Any unconfessed mortal sin, if committed as the Church defines it, sends a soul to hell. So yes, we can lose our salvation by not participating in the Sunday Mass or holy day of obligation Mass.


#10

[quote=mlchance]And since the Mass isn’t a Sacrament…

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

When I think of Mass I think of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.


#11

[quote=Della]But deliberately and willingly missing Sunday Mass or a holy day of obligation without a proper excuse is a mortal sin. Any unconfessed mortal sin, if committed as the Church defines it, sends a soul to hell. So yes, we can lose our salvation by not participating in the Sunday Mass or holy day of obligation Mass.
[/quote]

Missing Mass is not in all cases a mortal sin. What came to my mind when answering this is a child who is Baptized and is intentionally never again brought back to the Church. That child dies at age 6. The child has all that is necessary for Salvation. They received the grace of Baptism through the Sacrament of Baptism.

An adult that has the ability to attend Mass has different obligations.


#12

Mortal sin is incumbent on our knowing what we are doing is a sin and choosing to do it anyways. Therefore, the sin associated with missing Mass applies to Catholics, but not to a non-Catholic who does not understand the truth of the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, if a non-Catholic has come to a point that they realize that the Church was in fact founded by Jesus Christ and that the Eucharist is in fact the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, then at that point, they are treading on thin ice if they do not make steps to convert and receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

Until such a time, they are innocent in their invincible ignorance and we leave their fate in the hands of the all merciful God.

CARose


#13

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]When I think of Mass I think of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
[/quote]

Oh, certainly. No argument there. :slight_smile:

– Mark L. Chance.


#14

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]The only Sacrament necessary for Salvation is Baptism, assumming that one dies before committing any grave sins. Otherwise Reconciliation may also be necessary.
[/quote]

Br Rich, I am suprised by this statement! This statement is not fully the case. In the summa theologica it is stated "In the first way, three sacraments are necessary for salvation. Two of them are necessary to the individual; Baptism, simply and absolutely; Penance, in the case of mortal sin committed after Baptism; while the sacrament of order is necessary to the Church, since “where there is no governor the people shall fall” (Prov. 11:14). *** *** But in the second way the other sacraments are necessary. For in a sense Confirmation perfects Baptism; Extreme Unction perfects Penance; while Matrimony, by multiplying them, preserves the numbers in the Church."

For a child who dies without Baptism the Church tells us that it commends them to the Mercy of God. We are not sure what happens.

For a child who dies at the age of 6 and has been Baptised, but has not yet reached the age of reason and not received their First Holy Communion, they have all that is necessary for salvation, and indeed will be saved.

For the one who has reached the age of reason and made their First Holy Communion, attendance at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy days, except in the case of grave reason, is now an obligation. Reception of the Sacrament of Penance, when in mortal sin is also necessary for salvation.

So its not as clear cut as saying Baptism is the only sacrament necessary for salvation. What is necessary is dependant on the stage in life.

Lets cut to the chase here. After reception of First Holy Communion, attendance at Mass, when one is not prevented by serious reason, is necessary for salvation. Along with this this the Sacrament of Penance is necessary for the forgivness and remissioni of mortal sin, so it is necessary also.

If Baptism was the only Sacrament necessary for all, at all times, why would we bother with the struggle at all?


#15

Actually have a look at these two questions:
newadvent.org/summa/406504.htm on “Are all sacraments necessary for salvation?”

and

newadvent.org/summa/500601.htm on “Is Confession necessary for salvation?”

Some very good insight here!!


#16

The only Sacrament necessary for Salvation is Baptism, assumming that one dies before committing any grave sins. Otherwise Reconciliation may also be necessary.

You are correct I did make an error in this statement. It should read:

Only the Grace of Baptism is necessary for Salvation which God can supply outside of the Sacrament is necessary.

What you post is of course is correct IF one of the qualifiers is added to the Question. IF one has received their First Communion, IF one is able to attand Mass, IFone is beyond the age of reason, IFone is Catholic, IF…

The original question asked is attendance at Mass necessary for salvation? The answer would need to be no, not in all cases and situations.


#17

[quote=EsclavoDeCristo]I attended a Southern Baptist college and still keep up with many of my former classmates. The topic of the Eucharist came up and one asked me point blank if “participation in the Catholic Mass is necessary for salvation”. What does the Church teach concerning this and how can I explain it to her in a charitable way? Thanks in advance for your help. God bless you!
[/quote]

The simple answer is, “Yes, it IS necessary for salvation, once the validity of Catholic Christianity, as God’s preferred conduit to salvation, is perceived.”


#18

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Missing Mass is not in all cases a mortal sin. What came to my mind when answering this is a child who is Baptized and is intentionally never again brought back to the Church. That child dies at age 6. The child has all that is necessary for Salvation. They received the grace of Baptism through the Sacrament of Baptism.

An adult that has the ability to attend Mass has different obligations.
[/quote]

Of course, which is why I wrote “as the Church defines it”. No one is culpable of a mortal sin who doesn’t know he is committing a mortal sin.


#19

I think the important point being made is that when someone who is non-Catholic hears of a teaching of the Church which rightly specifies what a Catholic must do to attain salvation, we need to be certain that we lead with Charity and Prudence. It doesn’t seem prudent to immediately get into all the details of why you need all the additional steps for salvation, which could quickly lead a non-Catholic to surmise that we are suggesting that they, the non-Catholic, who has done none of what is being described, would therefore fall into the category of Unsaved.

First, one must immediately and clearly state that, no, the Church does not state that a person must attend Mass to attain salvation. Salvation can be attained without having ever gone to Mass. However, of those to whom much has been given, much is required. As one learns about the Faith and matures in their understanding, we become more open to the forms of Grace available to us through the Sacraments left for us by Christ. A child raised Catholic comes to these stages in a natural progression, as described above.

A convert comes to this realization through a gift of the Holy Spirit and their own willingness to have an open heart to a call from the Father. Their studying brings them to the realization that the Church has valid sacraments as a means of conveying Grace. Once this realization has been made, it is incumbant upon the individual to accept the authority of the Church and to progress towards conversion and receipt of the sacraments.

But until such time as a person accepts the truth of the Church as the Truth that it is, they are not bound by the responsibilities of being Catholic. Only God knows the state of a persons understanding of these matters, and we leave the disposition of souls to God and God alone.
CARose


#20

Thanks for all your insight!


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