15 Minutes with the Bishop: Holy Days

Last week, Catholics in New Zealand celebrated the Feast of the Assumption, and last week’s episode of 15 Minutes with the Bishop was on that topic. This week, Bishop Patrick talks about holy days of obligation, of which the Assumption is one in New Zealand and in some other countries around the world. How has the number of holy days changed? Is Sunday a holy day of obligation? And what about the idea in the UK of re-instating holy days of obligation?

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  • Lucyna Maria

    This whole thing of not wanting to stress that people should go to Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation so that they are not burdened with guilt doesn’t sit right with me.  For instance, I know that if I am sick and I can’t go to Mass, then I’ve done nothing wrong and therefore I have no guilt.  However, if I didn’t make the effort to organise my day so that I got to Mass, say on a Holy Day as there’s more effort involved there, then I’d have reason to feel guilty.  But if I physically could not make it, if some circumstance prevented me from being able to go and there were no other Masses in the area so that I could go, then there too would be no guilt.  And say I didn’t go to Mass on such a day, shouldn’t I know that I need to go to confession, thus removing the guilt of the sin I committed?

  • Zen Tiger

    Reference was made to the idea that in a Christian/Catholic culture, we made time for going to Church.  Indeed, it seemed that the Church, by setting multiple days of Obligation helped the population step outside their daily work-life and think about bigger things – their relationship with God, their family and life.  It was good.

    Now, we tip-toe around this word “obligation” because we understand that with Sunday trading (for example) we can’t be talking about obligations and responsibilities in this “new” society, for fear of putting pressure on people.

    The key is to understand that we are now back in Roman times for the Catholic Church.  We are now counter-cultural.  It is understanding our obligations and responsibilities that will differentiate us from the main-stream culture that is currently suiciding.  Obliged to go to mass?  Oh, lets make it optional.  Obliged to stay married?  Oh, lets make it optional.  Obliged to give birth to the life already created?  Oh, let’s make that optional.  Obliged to have responsibilities?  Oh, that might generate a sense of guilt!

    We practice the small things to help build the strength to take on the big things.

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