From a reader:
I would love to attend the TLM, and there is an SSPX Chapel less than 15 miles from my home; but everytime I try to get information regarding the SSPX, I’ve received contradictory information. One “expert” claims that attendance at an SSPX chapel fulfills the Sunday Obligation, another says it doesn’t; one says that I may receive Holy Communion there, another says that I may not receive their sacraments.
I’ve also been told that I’m welcome to attend, so long as I’m only there for the love of the TLM. Are there “official rules” somewhere?
Canon 1248 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law states:
The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
Unless you are for a serious reason prevented from attending Mass at a recognized chapel or church, I will not recommend that you attend regularly a chapel of a group that is not in clear union with the Roman Pontiff. If you do attend occasionally, from the motive of experiencing the TLM (and not, for example, because you reject the Church’s teaching in some way), I will not recommend receiving Holy Communion, unless there is serious reason why you cannot receive in a normal place clearly in union with the Holy Father and local bishop. That said, it would be permissible to make a small donation when the collection is taken up.
Furthermore, if that chapel is truly a chapel staffed by an actual priest of the SSPX, then you do fulfill your obligation on days of precept by attending Mass there on the day itself or on the evening before. However, there was a recent letter from the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” clarifying that attending Mass at some independent chapel associated with the SSPX but not actually under its aegis does not fulfill the obligation. More on that HERE.
Pray for an end of the division and the full reconciliation of the SSPX with the Roman Pontiff.