Sunday Obligation At A Malankara Orthodox Church

Hi my girlfriend are both devote Catholics but we have a keen interest in the Eastern and Orthodox Churches. At the university she attends, she became friends with a Malankara Orthodox. There happens to be a Malankara Orthodox parish near by and this friend would like to take her. Is she fulfilling Sunday Obligation by attending their Holy Qurbono and having their version of the Eucharist? Thanks.

P.S I posted this on here because I know some Eastern Catholics and especially St. Thomas Christians here may know the answer.


Greetings. I too am a St.Thomas Christian.

Can she go to a Catholic Mass?
If not, she is not obliged.

CCC 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 (not required, bracketed additions mine)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.”

Can. 844 §2 whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

If she can go to Catholic Mass, no- She does not fulfill the Sunday obligation.

Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

The 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism states:

  1. Since the celebration of the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day is the foundation and centre of the whole liturgical year, Catholics—but those of Eastern Churches according to their own Law—are obliged to attend Mass on that day and on days of precept. It is not advisable therefore to organize ecumenical services on Sundays, and it must be remembered that even when Catholics participate in ecumenical services or in services of other Churches and ecclesial Communities,*** the obligation of participating at Mass on these days remains.***

All emphases mine.

As I’ve said before in this forum, a strong argument can be made that canon 922 of the CIC (1983) can be said to include Orthodox liturgies, so at best it would seem that the question is still an “open” one in terms of the prescriptions of Canon Law.

Attending a non-Catholic church does not fulfill the Sunday Obligation. If there is no Catholic Church, then the obligation is dispensed. If he can attend a Saturday Vigil Mass or a Sunday Evening Mass, then he would be free to attend the Qurbono on Sunday.

Can you post the law?

You can also read this article.

This does not fulfill the obligation. Moreover you should not receive communion there unless permitted by Orthodox law.

This is such a sore subject for me.

Technically, by the letter of the law, attendance at a non catholic liturgy does not fulfill the “Sunday Obligation”. The sore point for me is when I am not in a position to attend an Eastern Catholic divine liturgy or find a traditional latin mass, going to a Novus Ordo mass is a near occasion of sin for me. I know that the mass and eucharist are valid, but I find myself feeling like a stranger in a strange land when I attend the ordinary form of the mass. I can’t get over the lack of reverence, communion in the hand, the overuse of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc.

For me, when I’m in that situation, I will usually attend a Saturday evening mass and on Sunday an Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Although that there have been times when I have skipped the Saturday mass and only attended the Orthodox liturgy on Sunday. They have a valid priesthood with valid sacraments.

Speak to your spiritual director or confessor.

Even if the MO permits, the CC does not, unless she is in danger of death. She can make a spiritual communion instead and pray for unity of those Churches.

I don’t think that Catholics are permitted to receive the Eucharist from the orthodox churches.

Orthodox Christians are permitted to receive the Eucharist at Catholic churches but I think it has to go through the local bishop.

I would just go to an Eastern Catholic church if you can find one. My closest one is about 3 hours away :mad:


Orthodox Christians are permitted to receive the Eucharist at Catholic churches

Yes again,

but I think it has to go through the local bishop.

Sorry,no. Not the Bishop but in danger of death.

I would just go to an Eastern Catholic church if you can find one. My closest one is about 3 hours away :mad:

You can watch one on youtube, though. It doesn’t fulfill your Sunday obligation however.

And the op’s friend is invited to a non catholic qurbana.

one could always see if there are other Eastern Catholic rites, and in this case, Malankara Catholics

Orthodox are non Catholics. Catholics can’t go to non Catholic liturgies on Sunday and fulfill our Sunday obligation.

Here’s why

In this case, Orthodox are NOT Catholic nor are they the Catholic Church. Because there is a division there from the Catholic Church, we as Catholics can’t accept or condone that division. It is against Our Lord’s own prayer John 17:20-23, and by a Catholic taking their Eucharist, it telegraphs a unity and an approval that is not there between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox.

Communion = union of community.

That unity is from top to bottom. From Jesus, through his apostles, throuh the ECF’s of the Church, through the hierarchy of the Church from top to bottom, AND union with all the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Church.

That union doesn’t exist outside the Catholic Church. So we can’t commune outside the Catholic Church.

The only exception is in danger of death

The supernatural realities of the Catholic mass are there. The Orthodox otoh are divided from the chair of Peter. I would suggest there is not just a temporal reality to that but a supernatural reality for the Orthodox as well. If a Catholic says Amen at the Orthodox liturgy they are saying they agree to EVERYTHING the Orthodox believe and reject everything the Orthodox reject. And a faithful Catholic can’t do that on account of the division.

Thanks for the all the replies guys but this wasn’t a very serious matter, she simply wanted to visit the Malankara Orthodox parish for the experience. While doing this she wanted to know if she would be fulfilling her Sunday Obligation for that weekend. There is a near by Catholic parish that she attends and she just wanted to attend the Holy Qurbono for this one weekend.

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