Why Is Mass Important to Catholics?

by Anna Windermere
Catholics consider it a serious sin not to attend Mass on Sundays.

Catholics consider it a serious sin not to attend Mass on Sundays.

Catholics go to Mass every Sunday to participate in sacred worship and rituals. The service holds utmost importance in their lives because it allows them to receive the Holy Eucharist, or Communion, to put God first above all idols according to the Catholic First Commandment, and to observe the holiness of the Sabbath as part of the Third Commandment. The Mass ceremony consists of two parts: the Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

First Commandment

The First Commandment proclaims to Catholic believers: "You shall not have strange Gods before me." Attending Mass is the main way that Catholics show their devotion to the Holy Trinity above all other gods or idols -- not limited to other entities, but pertaining to things of the material world, such as shopping or working. By setting aside time each Sunday for Mass, Catholics make God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit their most important priority in life.

Third Commandment

"Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day," says the Third Commandment. Sunday is considered the Lord's Day because it is the day on which Jesus was resurrected from the dead. By observing Mass on Sunday, Catholics honor and place importance on the eternal salvation that Jesus offers them through overcoming death. It was also on this day, after he rose from the dead, that Jesus made an appearance to two of his disciples and broke bread with them, which is honored in Mass as the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Liturgy of the Word

Liturgy is a term of Greek origin meaning an official public service. During the Mass, the Liturgy of the Word focuses on Bible readings and prayers. Each week, the Catholic Church chooses different selections from the Word of God, or Bible scripture, for reading and explanation, and related prayers are recited. Hymns are also sung as part of the service. The Liturgy of the Word holds great importance to Catholics because it connects them with the life instructions given them directly from God, helping them to apply their faith to everyday aspects of their lives.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Eucharist is also a term of Greek origin that means "thanksgiving." The Liturgy of the Eucharist is an answer to Jesus' request to break bread, or take communion, in remembrance of him, as explained in the book of John: “Whoever eats this bread and drinks this blood will have eternal life"; and in the book of Luke: “Do this in memory of me.” The ritual of consuming a wafer that symbolizes Christ's body, and wine symbolizing his blood, takes place at Mass. Participating in the Eucharist places importance on having a personal relationship with Christ and giving thanks to him.

About the Author

Anna Windermere started her writing and editing career in 1993, upon graduating from the University of Florida's esteemed journalism school with a bachelor's in journalism. Ms. Windermere, a senior-level copy editor, has appeared in mastheads of newspapers and magazines as copy chief, writer and proofreader, including "Sun-Sentinel," "Miami Herald," "City Link," "New Times," "NewBeauty," "Luxe," "Florida Alligator," "Orange & Blue," and more.

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