Świętowanie niedzieli przez udział w Eucharystii (panorama historyczna)

  • Jarosław A. Superson Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie
Słowa kluczowe: Eucharystia, niedziela, pora celebrowania eucharystii niedzielnej


Analyzing the heritage of Christianity, we see that since the very beginning, Sunday, the first day of the week, has always been the day of common Church gathering to celebrate the Eucharist. In the very beginning, as pointed by Tertullian, the celebration took place at night because of the precessions. Night or dawn gave more privacy and security. After the Edict of Milan it became a custom that a Mass should be celebrated after three o’clock, or at night, if they fell around so-called Quattro Tempora. In the middle ages it was believed that any time of the day is good to celebrate the Eucharist, but missa conventualis et sollemnis in hora Tertia. After the Council of Trent the time of the main Sunday Eucharist – summa – was determined by the bishop and in Poland it was at 10.00 AM. Often before this Mass was a Mass primaria celebrated. In the beginning of XX century the Code of Canon Law of 1917 stated that it was not allowed to celebrate a private Mass earlier than an hour before dawn or an hour after noon. For the solemnities that had its own vigil, the celebrations of the Eucharist took place in the evening. The purpose of that practice was to prepare for the celebration of the solemnity of the next day. Along with industrialization, introduction of different work shifts, persecution of the Church and other specific circumstances, it was allowed to celebrate Mass in the evening. This rule was especially visible during the Second World War and shortly after when the Sunday evening Mass was celebrated for the prisoners of war, those who were detained and foreigners. After the Church adapted the rule that the canonical hour for the Vespers would be called Vespers I, a discussion on the celebration of the Mass on Saturday evening started among the moral theologians. Participation in the Saturday evening Mass was supposed to satisfy the obligation of participation in the Sunday Mass and the holy days de praecepto. The Church recognized that there was a large group of the faithful who practiced sports and hunted on Sundays and that there was also an insufficient number of priests in some parishes. Therefore, so-called pre-holyday Mass was introduced to enable more participation in the Masses. The document Eucharisticum Mysterium of 1967 definitely recognized that the participation in Saturday vigil Mass satisfied the obligation of Sunday Mass participation. It was reconfirmed again by the Code of Canon Law in 1983 and by Dies Domini of John Paul II and the II Council of the Church of Poland.