Saturday, January 18, 2014

On Snow and the Sunday Obligation

Thankfully, it seems more people are starting to understand again that going to Mass on Sunday (or the anticipation Mass on Saturday night) is not a negotiable thing.  If I miss Mass, I ought to refrain from receiving the Eucharist until I have confessed that serious sin.

HOWEVER....There are a couple of obvious things that permit me to miss Mass on the weekend
1) If I am too ill to make it to Mass that weekend, I am not in mortal sin for missing Mass
2) If I am a parent who needs to take care of a sick child, I am not in mortal sin for missing Mass

(Note: If it is a two parent household, and it is possible for the parents to rotate and go to different Masses while the other stays home with a sick child or children, that should be pursued.)

3) the weather forecast for Brazil, IN looks to be a 3-5" snow storm tonight (Saturday), it is important for folks to recognize that if the weather would be unsafe to negotiate, then a person should know that they are freed from their Sunday obligation (If I normally go Saturday could I make it on Sunday instead?  If the forecast is bad for Sunday morning, can I get there on Saturday night instead, even if that means rearranging my schedule?)

Rule of thumb - I had a parishioner two weeks ago during our last storm tell me "I figured I would have driven to work, I should probably go to Church."  - If you'd go to work in the conditions, if you'd go to a party in the conditions, if you'd go see a movie in the conditions, then I'd say you should probably go to Church as well.  But if you are worried at all about your safety, then you should definitely stay home.


  1. When this happens to us with the weather or sickness, we usually end up setting the alarm and watching the great homily's on EWTN :D

  2. ...AND if you and/or child id sick, do you go to Mass and spread your germs to susceptible parishioners next to/in front of you?

  3. Father, doesn't the Church still require I get a dispensation from my parish priest to miss Holy Mass. Even if for a legitimate reason. And that I still do something to the Lord's day holy. Such as praying to Rosary for an hour (or more),Sacred scripture reading, etc. Thank You. God Bless!

  4. Or hearing Holy Mass another day which would be determined by the parish priest. Which the priest could give as commutation/dispensation (or praying the rosary as I said in the earlier post . I know the Church teaches that you are not required to do the "impossible".