Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
As people move to the Village, it is almost always the case that the number of things they are "obliged" to do goes way down or even disappear.  That, of course, is not the case when it comes to obligations to God that go on no matter where we are until we die.  One of those obligations, which is given to us by the third Commandment and the Church, is that of participating in Mass at least on Sunday (or Saturday evening) EVERY week, "unless excused for a serious reason."  That last quotation comes from the most recent catechism of the Catholic Church that was promulgated 25 years ago.  It states clearly that, "Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin."

While we are truly blest to have a much higher percentage of our registered parishioners participate in Mass every weekend, that percentage goes down significantly when it comes to "Holy Days of Obligation" though the Catechism is clear that these special days carry the same weight of obligation as Sundays.  We are about to experience within the next two months, four of our six holy days for the whole of the church year.  If you are one of those who have not been as faithful and obedient when it comes to participating in Mass on these special days, I urge you to get back in the practice starting with All Saints Day, this coming Wednesday.  We will have two Masses on that day at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The other days on which we are obliged to participate in Mass are December 8 (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary) with Masses here on Thursday, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. and December 8 at 9:00 a.m. and the Solemnity of the Nativity, with Masses here on Sunday, December 24 at 4:00 p.m. and December 25 at Midnight and 10:00 a.m.  (Please note that the morning Masses on Sunday, December 24 are for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and a person CANNOT satisfy the Sunday and Holy Day obligation by going to the 4:00 p.m. Mass that Day).  You might also be interested to know that on the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Monday, January 1, Catholics will be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED, but not obligated, to participate in Mass that day.  We will offer two Masses on January 1 at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.

I pray that encouragement and reminders will inspire participation in our upcoming Holy Day from most if not all of us who take seriously what God and his servant, the Church obliges us to do.  Many blessings will certainly come to those who do!