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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. I am 65 years old, officially a senior citizen in my country. I wanted to know, what is the official cut-off age for one's Sunday Obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday?

A. 1. When it concerns one's obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday, there is no cut-off age.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Canon Law states that the Holy Mass 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. [Canon Law # 1245; C.C.C. # 2181.

If you believe that you have a valid reason for not attending Holy Mass, such as:

1. serious illness,

2. a disability, such as being unable to walk,

3. the Church is located at a great distance and you have no means of transportation,

4. to pay for a taxi or public transit to attend Holy Mass would cause great financial hardship,

5. or other valid reasons,

please contact the pastor of your Church, requesting to be dispensed from attending Holy Mass. If you receive such a dispensation, then it will not be a sin when you do not attend holy Mass on days of obligation. Your dispensation should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that you still qualify for it. This is to ensure that there is no abuse of it.

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