The Catechism of the Catholic Church outlines the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays this way:

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The above Catechism paragraph 2182 is based on this encouragement from the letter to the Hebrews, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

In our pamphlet Why go to Mass? (pdf) Anna shares her story: “For the first time in my life I realised that I was part of, not just a blood family, but also a faith family…Faith in Jesus isn’t just a private affair. Faith always has something to do with others. It is an expression of a relationship; not just with a ‘spiritual’ Jesus, but a very ‘flesh and blood’ Jesus who walks and lives among his people today – people whom I knew and talked with and could see and touch.”

Your presence and participation at Mass is a source of life both to you and to the others whom you share with. The celebration of Sunday Mass in your parish would be the poorer if you were not there.

Of course there may be an occasion when it is not possible to attend Mass on Sunday (for example, if you were flying internationally and in transit). At this time it would be appropriate to attend Mass on Monday or Tuesday instead.

Acknowledgements
Photo by F Wilkinson

Reviewed
14 October 2019

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