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Part Three

Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhorta­

tion: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess

your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and

divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before

the dismissal. . . . We have often said: “This day is given to

you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has

made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”





is a definite community of the Christian faithful

established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral

care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under

the authority of the diocesan bishop.”


It is the place where all

the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of

the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the

ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together

in this celebration; it teaches Christ’s saving doctrine; it practices

the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:

You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great

multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from

one great heart, and where there is something more: the

union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the

prayers of the priests.


The Sunday obligation


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.”



Sermo de die dominica

2 et 6: PG 86/1, 416C and 421C.

115 CIC, can. 515 § 1.

116 St. John Chrysostom,

De incomprehensibili

3, 6: PG 48, 725.

117 CIC, can. 1247.

118 CIC, can. 1248 § 1.