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Pam wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is it still a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass?
  • Can one go to a daily Mass to make up for it or must it be forgiven in Confession?

Thank you,

Pam

  { Is it still a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass and can I make up for it by going to a daily Mass? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Pam —

Thanks for your question.

Yes, it is a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as:

  • being too sick to attend Mass
  • being hospitalized
  • having to a prolonged illness

Your pastor should be able to help you determine whether you have a good reason.

Sunday Mass is an obligation, not an option. It is the only day of the week that Our Lord Jesus asks us to renew our baptismal covenant with Him.

This is what is meant by the third commandment: Thou shall keep the Lord's Day holy.

The Catechism says:

CCC 2177. "The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. 'Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.' [CIC, Canon 1246 # 1.]

You said:
Can one go to a daily Mass to make up for it or must it be forgiven in Confession?

No, it must be mentioned in Confession.

Daily Mass does not substitute for our Sunday obligation. For a week you missed going to Mass, you can still attend Mass next week, but if you haven't been able to get to Confession, you can't receive Holy Communion until you first get to Confession. This usually isn't a problem as Catholic parishes have Confessions every Saturday afternoon. Still, if you can't make it during the week or weekend, you can still go to Mass for the coming week, but because you aren't properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, you should just stay in the pew and pray during the distribution of Holy Communion. After Mass and after the parishioners have left, ask the priest if he can hear your small Confession.

My mini-sermonette:

I was visiting my teenage nephews one Saturday and somehow the topic of going to Mass came up.

One of them made the comment, "Mass is boring!"

I replied, "Sometimes it's boring to me too!"

He was a little surprised by my answer, but I elaborated that although the sermon a priest gives may be boring, the KEY reason I go, beside obeying the commandments of the Church, is to receive the Blessed Sacrament. It is through receiving the Blessed Sacrament that I will be able to make better moral decisions for the rest of the week.

  • Is your life chaotic and are you interested in making better moral decisions during the week?

Consider joining the Church ... today!! It's as simple as making an appointment with the pastor at your local Catholic parish!

  • Do you have a priest at your Church who gives boring sermons?

Pray for him ... daily!!

Mike
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