The boundaries of the Mass

An interesting question I’m posing here…

To fulfill the obligation of the Sunday Mass, one must be present in the Mass. Tell me how this works?

Those inside the Church fulfill the obligations…those outside the Church(Because of over crowded or baby problems.) fulfill the Obligation…

Considering those outside…how far is too far? Do you have to be able to hear the Mass with your own ears to fulfill the obligation? Or do you have to be able to see the priest with your own eyes? Note: Not through a television.(Or with a television?)

What about those maybe in a nursery because of ill mannered toddlers? Do they fulfill the Sunday Obligations because they cannot hear or see with their own ears and eyes?

How does this work?

Thank you!

The battle is lost whenever we think of mass attendance as an obligation and not a priviledge. And a gift from God.

A few years ago I went “home” with a very good friend of mine who is from the Philippines. We were there a week or so before Christmas and as part of the holiday celebration we attended mass…at 5:00AM. At that hour, I was afraid we would be the only ones there. Not so. Traffic was so heavy that we had to get out of the taxi three blocks away and hike the rest of the way to the church. When we got to the church, there were so many people that we could not get near the building, let alone inside. Even though they had loudspeakers set up outside, I could make out very little of what they were saying. At the appropriate time, an army of priests came out to distribute Holy Communion.

I have no doubt that I was present at mass that day, and had it been a Sunday, I would have fulfilled my obligation.

Common sense.

If someone is on the parish property, wants to be at Mass, and the parish is treating him as if he is at Mass then he can reasonably be assumed to be at Mass.

Exactly, there is a “thought that counts” component to this. If you show up to Mass and circumstances make it so that you are watching Mass via television in another room, but a Priest does then come and give you Communion, that fulfills the obligation. Churches wouldn’t have cry rooms if it nullified Mass attendance.

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