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Back to Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
ONE'S SUNDAY OBLIGATION
AND WATCHING MASS ON TELEVISION.


Q. 1. If someone watches Holy Mass on television, can that fulfill his/her Sunday obligation?

A. 1. The Sacraments of the Catholic Church, including attendance at Holy Mass as a Sunday Obligation, must be done in person. Watching Holy Mass on television does not fulfill one's Sunday Obligation.

Section # 2180 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the Sunday Obligation is satisfied by "assistance" at Mass. That means being present at the Eucharistic celebration.

Being present at the Eucharistic celebration is in harmony with the words of Jesus that are found in Matthew 18:20 where he states, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

While watching television, you cannot receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Nor can you share in the "Sign of the Peace." The Eucharist, the "Bread of Life," is not available to those who watch television.

For those who have been dispensed from attending Holy Mass, either because of illness, infirmity or old age, the televised Mass offers them a spiritual benefit. But this benefit does not fulfill their Sunday Obligation from which they have been dispensed.



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