Another Missing Mass Question


Last Saturday we were due back from vacation Saturday evening, but due to flight delays we didn’t arrive home until, midnight. We have 2 young children and of course planned on attending Mass the following morning. Needless to say, everyone went to bed late. I am used to working evenings, so I usually wake up late and count on my spouse and children to wake me up to go to Sunday Mass. I thought about setting an alarm, but realizing that my spouse and children are early risers, I decided it wasn’t necessary. As a result, we all overslept and missed Sunday morning Mass.

We are in the country and checked the other Mass schedules in our region for a Sunday evening Mass, but there were none. The one in our town, at the Newman Center, ceases during the summer months.

My question is, did I commit a grave sin?


No, I do not believe you did. If you are unsure, please do talk to your priest. From what I can see, this was a case where you had planned to attend but due to fatigue from an unexpectedly long travel, and consequent UNINTENTIONALLY oversleeping by all, and with careful study to try to find another Mass time but there simply not being any, you missed but it was not through your deliberate fault.

God does not hold you to the impossible. You did not deliberately try to miss Mass, you did not just ‘let it go’ but actually did your best to try to find a Mass you could attend. . .

But again the best thing for you to do is talk to your priest so that he can reassure you.



My question is, did I commit a grave sin?

To commit mortal sin, three conditions must be met.

The evil committed must be grave

It must be committed with full knowledge

and it must be committed with full consent.

It appears that you did not commit a sin with full consent.

However, only you can discern, and if need be, with the help of your confessor, if you committed a mortal sin or not.

However, keep in mind that God doesn’t ask us to risk the lives of our children and ourselves, in order to make it to Mass. Being the time you arrived home, it may be that exhaustion would’ve impaired driving. Also, how present would you really have been at Mass? Once again, only you can discern this.

God Bless


Usually sin is preceded by some temptation and does not occur inadvertently. When you went to bed was your intention to miss Mass? Was missing Mass a deliberate act of your will, a conscious choice? It seems like it was an inadvertent blunder. Do you tihnk God condemns people to hell for something unintentional, an oops I goofed?

Why do people do this to themselves?

It seems that we strain at gnats and swallow camels, to paraphrase our Lord. We pick at imaginary faults and overlook some whoppers.

I have met people who are not Christian. Their moral lives are a complete shambles. They take drugs, hop from one bed to another and engage in various lasivious behavior, but they are health food fanatics and constantly working on self improvement. They are very concerned about what they eat and drink. While living in a moral cesspool they feel terrible guilt for eating a slice of pepperoni pizza or chocloate cake, their imaginary sins.

Guilt is a good thing when it is properly placed, when our consciences convict us of real evil. But sometimes we divert our consciences from the real problems and fret over imaginary ones. This is a way of avoiding what our real issues are.

I am not suggesting that you are doing this, but it is something that some of us do.

Lord Jesus show me the areas in my life that displease you. Make me see them. I do not want to hide them from you or me. Only you can heal them. Help me not to strain at gnats.


This might seem harsh. But if you have doubts mention it to your priest.

I know that if the kid’s had school or Mom and Dad had work the next day the alarm probably would have been set.


The fact you are asking indicates that you probably did not.

Though I would say you should have a little more devotion and find that out before it happens. (In reference to the schedules.)


There is probably no sin at all. You have not acted deliberately to commit a sin and certainly to not attend Mass on Sunday, rather you have made an understandable error of judgement (thinking that your usually early rising spouse and children would wake you up). If your conscience is uneasy, subject it to Father in Confession.
The lesson is that in future, put on the alarm if you need to get up early at a specific time as your spouse and children are not as reliable as you had thought.



did you make a deliberate and intentional action with intent to commit a mortal sin, full knowledge and full freedom of the will? if not, not sin. Did you say, hey, it’s vacation time, let’s blow off our duty to God and the Church? if not, no sin.


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