The pope recalls Sunday Mass obligation

Source: FSSPX News


John Paul II has invited cardinals, bishops and priests to renew their efforts, to give the faithful a better understanding of the importance of Sunday Mass and remind them of their obligation to participate in it. He was speaking on January 21 to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (Celam), gathered together for a plenary meeting on the theme Sunday Mass, center of Christian life in Latin America.

 “Participation at Sunday Mass is not only an important obligation, but above all, it is a profound requirement for all the faithful,” said the pope. “Faith can not be kept alive without habitual participation at Sunday Mass.” John Paul II also asked priests to “concentrate their efforts on better instruction” of the faithful, on the Eucharist, and to “ensure that its celebration is dignified and appropriate, so that it inspires a true respect and an authentic piety.”

 “Sunday Mass must be suitably prepared by the celebrant,” the Holy Father reminded them, asking them also to prepare their sermons with care. Priests should pay special attention to the selection and preparation of chants, gestures and other resources which enrich the liturgy, always with respect for established norms.”

 John Paul II has already stressed on several occasions the importance of Sunday, not only as “The Lord’s Day”, but also as a day of rest with one’s family. His Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, published on July 7, 1998, asked the faithful to rediscover the distinctive nature of the Christian Sunday, “to ensure that it will not become banal and trivialized.” For the pope, it is not only a question of an “obligation”, but also a “human right” which must be protected by adequate legislation. Likewise on October 8, 2004, in his 44th apostolic letter, launching the year of the Eucharist, Mane Nobiscum, the Holy Father insisted particularly on the importance of Sunday. It was the wish of John Paul II that this year would be the occasion to “rediscover and live each Sunday fully, as the day of the Church.”