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Life in Christ



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.


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 com­

munion 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.


“If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause

participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially

recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is

celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the

prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropri-

ate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups

of families.”


A day of grace and rest from work


Just as God “rested on the seventh day from all his work

which he had done,”


human life has a rhythm of work and rest.

The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate

rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and

religious lives.



On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful

are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the

worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the

performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation

of mind and body.


Family needs or important social service can

legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful

should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits

prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

119 Cf. CIC, can. 1245.

120 CIC, can. 1248 § 2.




122 Cf.


67 § 3.

123 Cf. CIC, can. 1247.