What if there was no Sunday Obligation?


#1

What do you think would be the impact to your parish if there were no more holy days of obligation?


#2

I dont know, most the catholics are not aware of the Sunday Obligation.


#3

I think most of the people who wouldn’t go if there were no obligation are already not going.


#4

I belong to a small Old Rite (EF) Parish with most people being quite devout outside of Mass so I wouldent expect any real change. In my old Parish (OF) though you would get a marked drop if it was said that people dident need to go, even though most of them ignored the obligation anyway.


#5

This ^^^^^^^

To keep holy the Sabbath these days means simply think of God, He didn’t really mean to go to the church building and worship, did He?:rolleyes::smiley:


#6

Agree with the above posters...However I would expect to see a small decrease only because, without the "obligation" aspect, there would be less concern among the faithful about missing mass when there is some sort of serious scheduling conflict. And what might be considered "serous" in people's minds might be more loosely defined...:shrug:
So I voted - down by up to 10%...

Peace
James


#7

I think there wouldn't be a huge drop initially. As many have posted many think Easter and Christmas are good enough so obviously many aren't fulfilling their obligation anyway.

That being said I think long term it would have a much larger impact. Everytime there are loosening of restrictions there seems to be less adherence. Just look at parishes where the priest doesn't promote the benefits of confession; people generally stop taking advantage of reconciliation. If Mass isn't required then maybe it's not important? 30 - 60 years of that kind of thinking and then Mass could just become a personal devotion; good, but completely optional.


#8

[quote="Usige, post:7, topic:288678"]
I think there wouldn't be a huge drop initially. As many have posted many think Easter and Christmas are good enough so obviously many aren't fulfilling their obligation anyway.

That being said I think long term it would have a much larger impact. Everytime there are loosening of restrictions there seems to be less adherence. Just look at parishes where the priest doesn't promote the benefits of confession; people generally stop taking advantage of reconciliation. If Mass isn't required then maybe it's not important? 30 - 60 years of that kind of thinking and then Mass could just become a personal devotion; good, but completely optional.

[/quote]

Good points. :thumbsup:

Peace
James


#9

I don’t think it would make much difference in Spanish and Polish communities. Most of these people need their communal spirituality more than the Anglo communities, or at least it seems that way.


#10

Well, having no concept of obligation has worked well for the Eastern Churches for 2000 years. :wink:


#11

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:10, topic:288678"]
Well, having no concept of obligation has worked well for the Eastern Churches for 2000 years. ;)

[/quote]

Amen -
Perhaps the thing to recognize is that "obligation" that is internal is quite different from "obligation" that is external. Too often we in the west tend to think in terms of an "obligation" being an externally applied "rule" or some-such...Yet an obligation can, and indeed should, be something that one applies to themselves.

I'm obligated to my wife out of love for her...not because of some legal status.

The same should apply to our "obligation" to God in worship.

Peace
James


#12

I've ticked not much

because being Anglican we are much more open and flexible and yes there are obligation days for those who like to follow rules but for the rest of us our attendence is fairly average most weeks and we are there because we want to be there even when we are struggling. Nothing is enforced on us to be there so consequently most of us are there every week. A few in the mid weeks sadly. I am told the priest made a comment the other week at a week day service, 'church is empty throughout the week, just like Catholic churches'. So does that mean you guys only do Sundays and Confession and may be the odd Adoration in Lent but thats all?


#13

My guess is that would not drop more than 10%. I am sure that there are quite a few people that go because it is an obligation and that they would reduce their attendance frequency if the obligation were removed. However, I think that those same people would still go at a lower frequency because the morality of the act is already instilled in their heads, sadly it is very possible that their children would probably not attend Mass at all.


#14

I suspect that initially there would not be a huge drop.

But I think what would happen is that after five years or so there would be a significant (50%?) drop.

But after 10-15 years things would start to even out again.

Some countries/dioceses/parishes would experience more of a change, others less.


#15

[quote="Lapey, post:5, topic:288678"]
This ^^^^^^^

To keep holy the Sabbath these days means simply think of God, He didn't really mean to go to the church building and worship, did He?:rolleyes::D

[/quote]

It's not that only to go to Church, but also to do good things in the Sabbath like Jesus did. I am just saying that most of the Catholics are not aware of this obligation due to lack of knowledge regarding in our faith, I am speaking for Filipino Catholics. Most of them just go the Church because of greats feast in our country like the Black Nazarene feast, Our Lady of Visitation feasts and many more. Sometime they say that Mama Mary is god. But I am trying to correct them, but I am not enough to do that.


#16

[quote="St_Francis, post:3, topic:288678"]
I think most of the people who wouldn't go if there were no obligation are already not going.

[/quote]

That's what I think.


#17

I think in my parish there would be an almost immediate 5-10% drop. Then slowly over perhaps a year's time I would be surprised if 50% remained. From there it would just remain stagnant ultimately dying out as more and more people passed.


#18

[quote="englishredrose, post:12, topic:288678"]
I've ticked not much

because being Anglican we are much more open and flexible and yes there are obligation days for those who like to follow rules but for the rest of us our attendence is fairly average most weeks and we are there because we want to be there even when we are struggling. Nothing is enforced on us to be there so consequently most of us are there every week. A few in the mid weeks sadly. I am told the priest made a comment the other week at a week day service, 'church is empty throughout the week, just like Catholic churches'. So does that mean you guys only do Sundays and Confession and may be the odd Adoration in Lent but thats all?

[/quote]

In the Catholic Church it's not simply a matter of following rules. It's about not committing mortal sin.


#19

A better question would be:

*What if no one could see anyone else in the Church except God? Would attendance increase or decrease? *

No more would there be any reason to go and fume over the Mass, or nitpick at what the priest does or doesn't do, or glare at what other people are wearing, or judge the worthiness of who is handing them Holy Communion, or what physical building features are present or missing.


#20

[quote="JRKH, post:6, topic:288678"]
Agree with the above posters...However I would expect to see a small decrease only because, without the "obligation" aspect, there would be less concern among the faithful about missing mass when there is some sort of serious scheduling conflict. And what might be considered "serous" in people's minds might be more loosely defined...:shrug:
So I voted - down by up to 10%...

Peace
James

[/quote]

This was precisely my train of thought, at least with regard to my own parish. But then I considered that those who would miss a Sunday here and there would likely just go some other day of the week, rendering no change in total weekly attendance.


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