370 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
• For Christians, the observance of the Sabbath has been transferred
to Sunday, the day that Jesus rose from the dead. On Sundays and
other holy days of obligation, the Catholic faithful are bound to
participate in the Mass. A Catholic who deliberately fails to partici-
pate in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation commits a
• Sunday extends the celebration of Easter throughout the year. It is
meant to be illumined by the glory of the Risen Christ. It makes pres-
ent the new creation brought about by Christ.
• Sunday also recalls the first creation as well as the new creation. The
Genesis account of creation, expressed in poetic style, is a hymn of
awe and adoration of God in the presence of the immensity of cre-
ation. On Sunday, we remember the wonder of what the risen Son of
God has done for us in his new creation.
• While Sunday is a time for worship, it is also an occasion for rest and
relaxation. We should make time to be with one another in meals,
conversation, cultural and social growth, and the deepening of fam-
Church attendance and participation in worship has tended to decline
in the modern industrial democracies, including the United States.
However, there is still reason to have hope. There are more Catholics
at Mass on a single weekend than all the fans that go to major league
baseball games in an entire season. Maintaining and even increasing this
level of attendance at Mass will be helped by a more fervent and active
participation in the Eucharist.
Here are ways to help people prepare better for Sunday Mass:
• Go to Mass prepared to worship God.
• Approach the Mass with the intention of participating fully and
actively in the celebration, singing the hymns and psalms and recit-
ing the prayers with conviction and faith.
• Enter into the mystery of faith in the Mass. The sacrificial self-gift of
Christ to the Father is made present through the Holy Spirit. If we