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In February 2008 CARA surveyed 1,007 self-identified adult Catholics from Knowledge - page 4 / 10

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Nine in ten or more Mass attending Catholics (attending at least a “few times a year”) say the following aspects of Mass are at least “somewhat” important to them: feeling the presence of God (94 percent), prayer and reflection (93 percent), and receiving Eucharist (92 percent). Aspects of less importance include the music (71 percent) and the Church environment and decorations (66 percent).

Among Catholics who have celebrated their First Communion, eight in ten (79 percent) who attend Mass at least once a week say they “always” receive Eucharist at Mass. By comparison, 66 percent of those attending Mass less than weekly but at least once a month receive the Eucharist this often, as do only 31 percent of those who attend Mass a few times a year or less often.

A majority of adult Catholics, 57 percent, say their belief about the Eucharist is reflected best by the statement “Jesus Christ is really present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist,” compared to 43 percent who said their belief is best reflected in the statement, “Bread and wine are symbols of Jesus, but Jesus is not really present.” Among all Catholics, members of the Pre-Vatican II Generation are more likely than all other Catholics to believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist (70 percent compared to 54 percent). Among Catholics attending Mass at least once a month, those of the youngest generation, the Millennials, are just as likely to believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist as Pre-Vatican II Catholics (85 percent compared to 86 percent). Nine in ten of all weekly Mass attenders (91 percent) say their belief about the Eucharist is reflected best by the statement “Jesus Christ is really present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist.”

Respondents who do not attend Mass weekly were asked about things that might explain why they missed Mass in the last six months. Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly but at least once a month, a busy schedule or lack of time (51 percent), family responsibilities (48 percent), or health problems or a disability (41 percent) are the most frequently cited reasons that at least “somewhat” explain why they missed Mass. Among Catholics attending Mass a few times a year or less often, the most common reasons cited that explain at least “somewhat” their missing Mass are that they don’t believe “missing Mass is a sin” (64 percent) and that they are “not a very religious person” (50 percent).

About a third of respondents (34 percent) agree “strongly” with the statement, “I can be a good Catholic without going to Mass every Sunday.” More than two-thirds (68 percent) agree with this statement at least “somewhat.”

Eighty-three percent of Mass attending Catholics say it is “somewhat” or “very” important to them that Mass is celebrated in a language they most prefer and 70 percent say it is similarly important that the Mass is celebrated in a way that reflects their ethnic and ancestral culture.

Only 12 percent of adult Catholics say they “always” attend Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation when these do not fall on a Sunday. Twenty-three percent say they do this “frequently or usually,” 39 percent say they do this “seldom,” and 26 percent say they “never” do this. Forty-one percent of those who attend Mass at least once a week say they “always” attend Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation. Pre-Vatican II Generation Catholics are

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