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“Ask a Priest: Could I Go to a Daily Mass Instead of Sunday?”
Q: I just read Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. There is a chapter about daily Mass; how it is a small, personal, good community, etc. I agreed with all these statements. My next thought was why must I got to Mass on Sunday (I understand it is the Lord’s Day). I don’t think God would be upset if I went to church on a Tuesday rather than a Sunday, as long as I go to church / receive the Eucharist. To be perfectly honest, I get so much more out of daily Mass. Less distractions within the crowd and it is the peace I need during the week. On Sunday mornings I do not need peace. I need it during the week. You might think that I am making excuses. You may argue, “Why not go to both?” but I don’t like the feeling of Sunday Mass being a chore. I want it to be something I enjoy. – M.S.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s great that you find daily Mass so fulfilling. But as you mention, Sunday is the Lord’s Day, the day of his resurrection. And thus it is special.
Our Lord, through his Church, lets us know that Sunday is the day that he wants us to attend Mass.
It is good to remember that Mass is more about giving God what he wants, not what we prefer.
Part of the point of Sunday Mass is that it is meant to bring together the whole community. Catholicism isn’t a “me and Jesus alone” religion. It has a strong communal dimension; it’s about believers gathered in the mystical body of Christ, the Church, to give glory to God.
Just as God had a chosen people in the Old Testament and made a covenant with them as a nation, so he wants his Church in the New Testament to bind us together. The sacraments, well received, should help us be more patient with the daily challenges of community life.
(For more reading on the value of Sundays, see St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Dies Domini.)
In any case, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days remains a grave one. Those who deliberately neglect it would be objectively in mortal sin and thus not able to receive Communion, even at daily Mass.
One imagines that Matthew Kelly would be the first to affirm that Sunday Mass has the priority here.
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