Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MASS OBLIGATION

A grave obligation of Catholics to assist at Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. As expressed by the Second Vatican Council, referring to Mass on Sunday, "On this day the faithful are bound to come together into one place. They should listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Constitution on the Liturgy, V, 106). The imperatives "are bound to come together" indicates the gravity of the obligation, which according to the Church's tradition, affects all baptized persons who have reached the age of reason. They are obliged under penalty of serious sin to hear Mass on Sundays and holy days, which means that the duty is objectively serious. Subjectively the gravity of the sin will depend on excusing circumstances, notably a person's awareness of the dignity and necessity of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! 22 hours ago
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17