Is church attendance and/or participation in Communion (i.e., Lord's Supper, Eucharist, Mass) considered a requirement for Roman Catholics?


Attending church on the Lord's Day (Sunday) and other holy days of obligation is a requirement for Roman Catholic Christians.

According to the Code of Canon Law (CIC) 1247 (cp. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2180),

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Frequent participation in the Communion (i.e., Eucharist, Lord's Supper) is encouraged, as long as the pre-requisites for participation are satisifed (CIC, 912-923).

According to the Code of Canon Law, 898,

The Christian faithful are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in highest honor, taking an active part in the celebration of the most august sacrifice, receiving this sacrament most devoutly and frequently, and worshiping it with the highest adoration. In explaining the doctrine about this sacrament, pastors of souls are to teach the faithful diligently about this obligation.

In particular, Roman Catholic Christians are obliged to participate in Communion annually.

According to Code of Canon Law, 920 §1-2,

§1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.

§2. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year.

  • 1
    It's interesting that the Church of England also has this at-least-once-a-year-at-Easter precept. – Andrew Leach Jan 4 '15 at 10:13
  • Does that mean that the Eucharist is not always part of the Mass? – kutschkem Jan 4 '15 at 14:17
  • @kutschkem: AFAIK it is, but you can't partake of the Eucharist unless you satisfy the prerequisites for participation. – user900 Jan 4 '15 at 18:24
  • 1
    @kutschkem The Mass always includes reception of communion by the priest, but it is possible to have a Mass in which the other people present do not have the opportunity to receive communion. It is also possible for people to receive communion outside the Mass. – Andreas Blass Jan 4 '15 at 22:02
  • @AndrewLeach The rules goes back to the Fourth Council of the Lateran, so the Anglicans just did not end this practice. – K-HB Mar 9 '19 at 21:26

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