From the Parish Priest – Fr. Romey Rosco
Many parishioners here at Sts. Peter & Paul do make an effort to go to church every Sunday.¬† But for most others it seems to be an open question whether to go to church or not.¬† To them, going to church once or twice a month is all they have any idea of doing.
Excuses may abound, but there is no valid reason for missing church in Sunday that wouldn‚Äôt keep you from work on Monday.¬† It should be a settled matter.¬† A few of my parishioners tell me that when they were growing up, their parents made it crystal-clear to them: ‚ÄúNo matter how late you come home on Saturday night, you WILL be in church on Sunday morning, or next Saturday you‚Äôre staying home!‚ÄĚ
Why is it so important to go to church every Sunday?¬† Because God expects you to be there to give Him the praise and respect that is due Him as part of His family of faithful believers, to learn about Him, and to hear what He has to say to you.¬† Failure to do so dishonors God, starves your soul and sets a bad example for those close to you.
If you miss church frequently, you are apt to miss sermons that you need to hear, sermons that could apply to you in some special way.¬† If you miss church frequently, you are turning your back on Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.¬† If you miss church frequently, you are shirking your responsibility to ‚Äúlive your faith‚ÄĚ in a direct relationship with God.
Of course, there are some parishioners who are not able to attend.¬† They may be home-bound with some serious illness, or they may be very old, no longer able to drive and have no one to bring them.¬† Your priest knows who they are and works with them to meet their needs.
Everyone else should know that the payment of church dues and occasional donations cannot take the place of church attendance.¬† Yes, monetary support is necessary.¬† Separation of Church and State requires that parishioners support their own churches; we have no government support as in some other countries (like Romania).¬† But the Church (God!) wants you more than it wants your money.¬† The Bible admonishes us to ‚Äúforsake not the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some‚ÄĚ (Hebrews 10:25).
So, if you need to turn over a new leaf or revise your ideas about religion and the practice thereof, follow the example of the Lord Himself who ‚Äúas was His custom, went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day‚ÄĚ (Luke 4:16).¬† There is no substitute for faithful church attendance.
From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XXXVII No. 15, 11 April 2010
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI