DSCAP 14: Sunday, From the Beginning of Christian Formation

Continuing with the Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, and its teaching on Sunday. Remember the principles previously stated (DSCAP 12-13): the centrality of Sunday as a time when God gathers his people, when the Paschal Mystery is preached and expressed, and when the Church’s primordial holy day is celebrated.

14. Such principles should be set before the faithful and instilled in them right from the beginning of their Christian formation, in order that they may willingly fulfill the precept to keep this day holy and may understand why they are brought together for the celebration of the Eucharist by the call of the Church (Eucharisticum Mysterium 25) and not simply by their personal devotion.

The establishment of Sunday obligation might work against this principle at times. If God calls, then does God work through a person’s sense of guilt, through an emotional connection to religious practice? Or does the Sunday assembly offer its own momentum as a response to God’s agency?

The following is a good aspiration:

In this way the faithful will be led to experience the Lord’s Day as a sign of the divine transcendence over all human works, and not simply a day off from work; in virtue of the Sunday assembly they will more deeply perceive themselves to be members of the Church and will show this outwardly.

But I’d say most Catholics see Sunday Mass in terms of devotion, or obligation, or an expression of community. Perhaps each of these elements is in play–I wouldn’t argue against it. I don’t think most Catholics see the Lord’s Day as a transcendence.

Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the absence of a priest English translation © 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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