Ever wonder about our religion and need answers! Just ask Father Rich, he can answer them! This is something new that Father Rich has started in our parish. We will publish only his answers to share with everyone.
Q: When is the absolute latest I can be to attend my Sunday obligation of Mass?
A: This is a very good question, but it can easily be taken as what is the absolute minimum I have to do. Catholic Theology never works from the words "absolute minimum." The Church consistantly strives to have the faithful do more for the God and the community, not less. So, the question might be better phrased, "Can I be late for Mass?"
The short answer is "yes." One should always strive to be on time for the liturgy. There are several introductory parts of the Mass that cause us to reflect on our present state in the sight of God, most importantly, the Penetential Rite. Missing that can remove our attention from our sinful nature, which in turns leads us farther from God.
Practically, one should always allow time before the celebration of the Mass begins for private prayer and reflection. Arriving late, especially habitually, not only makes it seem that we are checking off a box, it also demonstrates a lack of respect for others who are trying to pray.