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
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
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.
67 § 3.
123 Cf. CIC, can. 1247.