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« Fulfilling the Sunday Obligation on Saturday | Main | Upcoming Events? »

April 12, 2004


John E

I attended a Communion Service on a holy day of obligation recently at a hospital chapel the day after my wife gave birth. Does attending a Communion Service fulfill the obligation? Some things I've read seem to imply that it must be a Mass, while others seem to indicate that participation in the "eucharistic celebration" fulfills the obligation.

Harry Jameson

To my knowledge, the point of the obligation is not that we receive communion but that we be present for the holy sacrifice of the Mass, there to offer our worship and to be united spiritually to Christ and his Passion. We ought to receive communion if we are not in a state of sin, of course! A commuion service doesn't enable us to participate in the holy sacrifice.


Let's not forget that if he is attending his wife's bedside in a hospital he probably has sufficient cause to miss Mass, and a communion service is 'gravy' under the circumstances.

Harry Jameson

Yes, of course! I didn't mean to imply that he didn't have grave reason to miss Mass. Just that the fact of the Communion Service probabaly wouldn't have any effect one way or another on the legitimacy of one's missing of Mass. The main factor is his reason for missing Mass -- ministering to his wife.


Unless the patient is at risk of sudden death, how does one decide if it's ok to skip an hour of church? When a spouse or child is in the hospital, people still take time to eat, pick up clothes at the cleaners, buy flowers, shop for cards, toys, check phone messages, etc. Why is it they wouldn't have time to fit in a little church?

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