Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? – Part I or II – Episode 14 – SSPX FAQ Series

By | September 16, 2019

Many Catholics wonder if they should attend
the New Mass, especially to fulfill their Sunday Obligation. In these videos, we’re
going to show: 1) what the Sunday Obligation is and its limits and then 2) why Catholics
are not obliged to attend the New Mass and should even avoid it. First we must understand what our Sunday Obligation
is as Catholics. As the catechism teaches, the third commandment instructs us to “keep
holy the Lord’s day.” To keep a day “holy” means “to set it
apart” from the other days to honor God in a special way as required by the virtue
of religion. It also honors the mystery of God’s rest on the seventh day of creation.
From this comes the divine command of refraining from unnecessary servile work. Under the Old Covenant, the Sabbath was observed
on Saturday, but with the New Covenant, the Apostles transferred the day of rest to a
Sunday to commemorate the redeeming Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Early Church,
Christians would assemble on Sunday to celebrate the Savior’s salvific act with the offering
of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Church later codified the precise way
in which the Third Commandment is observed. This is the “Sunday Precept” which gives
Catholics a twofold obligation: 1) to attend Mass on Sunday and 2) to rest from servile
work. These obligations are under pain of mortal sin. This precept of the Church is
taught by the catechism: “to keep the Sundays and Holy Days of obligation holy, by hearing
Mass and resting from servile work.” According to the Code of Canon Law, all baptized Catholics
who have attained the age of reason must fulfill this obligation. It is important to understand that although
the third commandment comes directly from God, the way of fulfilling this commandment
is given by the law of the Church. It is the Church which establishes the limits of this
obligation. For instance, occasions can arise that might make attendance at Mass on a Sunday
or Holy Day impractical, if not impossible. Circumstances may also oblige us by justice
or charity to work on Sunday. In such cases, the Church, as a good mother, excuses us from
the Sunday obligation. A few examples of legitimate dispensation
from the Sunday obligations include: Dangerous travel conditions, an inability to travel,
or even great distances. Poor health. Preservation of a common good. A duty of charity or another
necessity, such as caring for the sick or employment for one’s livelihood. For particular cases which do not enter within
these general limits, the parish priest is the one who has the faculty to dispense from
the Sunday obligations. For further insight and understanding, we
recommend using the 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal – available at This
1962 missal is also available in a Spanish edition. To learn more about the Novus Ordo Missae
watch Episode 7 in this SSPX video series. For more videos, go to and subscribe
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