What could be done to most improve Sunday Mass attendance?


That’s sad to read. The existence of the Sunday obligation can be commnicated with great tact and care. Sometimes I think it’s just a matter of clergy apathy. My gosh, how could something like this be allowed to fall through the cracks in the floor?

I do agree about not knowing. So much has been glossed over, that I think if you hooked Catholics to polygraph machines and asked if they were aware of the Sunday obligation, it would show they were telling the truth if they answered “no.”


To the priest’s own detriment and those who need to have reasons for what we do and why…

Those kids when they grow up will do then what they learned as kids. Hit and miss mass or no mass at all, won’t be any big deal. Bad habits are hard to break and good habits are hard to start and keep up. Those parents need an education BIG TIME as well.

BTW who was worried that insistence on regular attendance was “heavy handed and would stop people from coming”?


So true. It’s all in the approach – and the approach can be tactful and loving. While I do believe some would publicly imply they were afraid of driving people away altogether, that sounds more like an excuse to continue with the apathy, rather than a legitimate concern.

Just ponder the ramifications of not making the faithful aware…


I like this passage from the CCC
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits."

Let’s face it, information has never in history been so easy to access than it is today


That’s true. I know some oldsters who are daily communicants yet they have not been to confession in over 40 years because some regrettable priest told them they no longer needed to. They fiercly hung onto this belief even after they were told differently – by a priest. Their inaction is terribly sad, but the priest who steered them askew shares in the consequences.



An OT passage I like to apply copiously. It’s timeless advice. (emphasis mine)

Ez 3:
17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life. 20 Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered;but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you will have saved your life.”


Talk about getting more Carholics to come back to Church is absolutely meaningless when talk continues to centre on whats wrong with the Mass and the Vatican Councils.

Faith is what brings people into Mass. Not bells and whistles , coffee and donuts. Priestly accents, interior decor, Faith gets people back into Mass and talking to God.

Get out thete, roll sleeves up and start evangelising.

How many people reading this only came back to Mass and started worshipping God after finding the gift of faith.

Isnt Faith one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit



Paul opens Romans with "obedience of faith" (Rom 1:5) and ends Romans with obedience of faith (Rom 16:26]. In between are the particulars.


Yes. Refer to the Ez 3: quote What could be done to most improve Sunday Mass attendance?


But if all your life you have only been taken to mass sporadically, it’s what most people do and everyone seems ok with it why would you question it?

Also to be fair some of these families may have been away for weekends and gone to church with grandparents for example.


Here is the reason to faithfully attend mass every Sunday from a scriptural reference

Heb 10: (all emphasis mine) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=heb+10%3A19-31&version=RSVCE
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment,and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Unpacking that

deliberate Failure to meet on the Day, is already a sin with huge consequences
1.“the Day” = the LORD’S DAY / Sunday/ the Day Our Lord Resurrected
2.“sacrifice for sin”, & “blood of the covenant” = the words Our Lord spoke instituting the
Matthew 26:28 , https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mt+26%3A28&version=RSVCE
Mark 14:24 , https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+14:24&version=RSVCE

i.e. They are celebrating the Mass when they meet
THAT’s why those who deliberately fail to celebrate Mass (the Eucharist) on Sunday after being given the knowledge of truth, it says
◦ there no longer remains for Them, a sacrifice for sin
They Spurn the Son of God
They outrage the spirit of grace
◦ a fearful prospect of judgement awaits Them
◦ and a fury of fire will consume these adversaries
Does that sound like it’s only a suggestion to attend Mass on Sunday, or a command?
Does it sound like a venial sin to deliberately miss Mass on Sunday or a mortal sin?

One only has to look at the consequences mentioned. Those consequences DESCRIBE HELL for one who dies in mortal sin

From the CCC http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2178.htm


My other questions is WHY DO C&E Catholics attend Mass on Christmas and Easter? What’s their impetus for going at all? Is it just holiday entertainment? I cannot imagine any such people are thinking “I must fulfill my Easter Duty per Canon 920, so I need to make sure I go to Mass on these days.” Anyone actually knowing that would also know they are committing more than 50 mortal sins/year by not otherwise fulfilling their Sunday obligation.

Understanding what makes people attend Mass on Christmas and Easter would possibly help understanding how to get them back full time.


I appreciate this now but it took until my 20s. Also I’ve really noticed that other Christian denominations are now very relaxed about Sunday attendance. If Catholics don’t have anyone to reinforce or even talk about this it won’t seem important.


Most people only hear what priests have to say from the pulpit, and those who would hear on an ordinary Sunday aren’t in need of hearing it.

I guess that a priest could make the Sunday obligation a message to deliver at Christmas or Easter or at people’s funerals. But I’m not sure how well it would be received.


A lot of people just don’t believe it, that’s the problem.

An old Jewish woman I used to work with remarked to me that she thought it was ludicrous to think that the Almighty was sitting on His Throne taking attendance (for the High Holy Days), I think that many Catholics have a similar view about attendance at Mass.


Many people definitely have this attitude as it’s typical of today’s culture. Priests and catechists need to be aware that most of us don’t live in traditional Catholic cultures anymore. We sometimes need to be told things.


You’ve hit the nail on the head from my families standpoint too. There is in now way that NC’s would be looked at with such charity in my wife and kid’s parish as you explain above. The parish is the only one in a town of nearly 7K, and it almost died off once due to their view of NC’s, and it’s starting down that road again.

I don’t want to go to church to be met with put downs from the priest or awkward looks, so I don’t “push” my family to go (I’ll go if my wife says “let’s go” obviously)…and to be honest, my wife isn’t a fan of that parish either due to the way they look upon NC’s so she doesn’t really want to go see people look down their nose at us either… She (we) left that one once because the priest wouldn’t perform our wedding.


I can personally attest that a reverently celebrated Mass played a roll in my reversion to the faith. The “bells and whistles” and mannerisms indicated to me that these were a people who truly believed these lofty ideas of Catholicism. It made me reflect more on the Real Presence.

Sometime after that our parish started “coffee and donuts” and suddenly I went from knowing 1 or 2 parishioners to, well more than I can count right now.

Bells and donuts are not the substance of my faith but, in the mystery of this physical and temporal existence, it’s pretty awesome that God can even use bronze and flour and sugar in his plan of salvation.


In the old school traditional days, people knew their neighbors a lot better than they do in the current era. “coffee and donuts” was less necessary as you saw your fellow parishioners all week, you went to school with them, participated in church festivals and spaghetti dinners and bingos.


Thank you for sharing. :+1: I am also continually amazed at how God can use the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.

Honestly, the reasons people are drawn to the Church are many and varied. For me, it was a community I encountered in college of young, vibrant believers that made me start to pay attention. But, of course, even that wasn’t the final word.

There are no five things that are going to draw every single person into the Catholic faith. Truthfully, there is one thing: Jesus. We do need to do our best to fire on all cylinders and be all things to all people. But few of us can manage that on our own, and, frankly, we don’t have to. We all need to play our part.

And to that end, I think we need to be careful. It’s not uncommon in these types of discussions for people to bemoan that “the Church” is not doing this or that or “the Church” is doing this or that poorly. While that may be true insofar as it goes (and the Church is always in need of reformation), what often gets overlooked is the fact that the Church is made up of us. It is easy to point fingers and expect other people to step up and do what we think they ought to do. It is much more difficult to point our questions at ourselves and ask what we can do. What can I do to spread the Gospel? How can I be a witness who draws people closer to Christ? It’s not all up to the pope, bishops, and priests. We have our role to play. We cannot just sit idly by and expect great saints to arise around us. We need to pray for the grace to be a great saint ourselves.

And, yes, I realize this applies to me. :laughing: I know that I fall short and I know I have a lot of room for improvement. I pray every day for the grace to be a better evangelizer.

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