Are these valid reasons for missing Mass on an HDO?

I know on HDOs one is supposed to attend Mass, and that tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Churches near me are offering Masses at various times, in most cases one in the morning and one in the evening. However, I have school and cannot make the morning Mass, and I cannot come in late since I have a test first thing in the morning. I am also committed to a sport which is practicing that evening, where missing practice could have negative consequences for me. I truly want to attend Mass but also do not want to roll back on my other commitments. Would these circumstances be a valid reason for missing mass on an HDO? Also, would practicing for a sport be a case of failing to appropriately rest on an HDO?

I’d recommend that you talk to your pastor, and also talk to your sports coach.

You could also attend Mass this evening.

Most likely the readings will be for Sunday and you will have already heard them, but you will fulfill the obligation to attend Mass on the day itself or the evening before.

IF you went to mass this morning and there is an evening Mass at your parish (we’ll have one at 6pm), then you can most likely attend the second Mass as the vigil.

You should consult with your Pastor about this… IMHO, better safe than sorry. :slight_smile:

The negative consequences of missing Mass far outweigh the negative consequences of missing practice. If your coach can’t understand religious obligations, he/she should resign, and if there are repercussions from your decision to attend Mass, go to a higher authority .

Can someone else confirm this, I am unable to attend mass tomorrow (I work 48 hr shifts for fire department).

I can go to mass tonight, but would that count as a “vigil” mass for tomorrow?

I guess I thought it was abrogated falling on a Monday, but I heard it’s not today.

Some holy days are abrogated in the US when they fall on a Saturday or Monday, but not either of the days that fall in December: Immaculate Conception (our national patronal feast) and Christmas.

Canon law says you need to attend Mass on the day itself or the evening before, so yes, Mass this evening “counts” for tomorrow. There’s a thread going into excruciating detail about it here:

Yes, it would.

Immaculate Conception is never transferred or abrogated in the US because under this title Mary is Patroness of the Americas.

No, sports practice is not a reason to miss Mass.

As others have noted you can go to mass tonight to satisfy your obligation. Our obligation to attend mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation can always be satisfied on the evening prior to the Sunday or holy day. Assuming you went to mass last night (Saturday night) or this morning, you have satisfied your Sunday obligation. If you go to mass tonight, even though the readings will be for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and not for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, you will still fulfill your obligation.
Just go to mass tonight!

If in the future you’re in a situation like this, I would say that sports practice is not sufficient grounds by itself, but if you feel it is truly a bind you can always ask your pastor (your canonical pastor - that is the pastor of your GEOGRAPHICAL parish) for a dispensation.

Thank you!

Go to the evening mass. A sports commitment should never override your commitment to God. It is a holy day of obligation - you are obliged to attend Mass.

I cannot absolutely confirm it, but since the 2nd Sunday of Advent takes precedence over the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, I would expect any Masses on Sunday evening to be Mass of the 2nd Sunday of Advent.

However it is absolutely true that attendance to any Mass in a Catholic rite Sunday evening will satisfy an obligation to assist at Mass Monday.

Who Is Not A Canon Lawyer

Immaculate Conception is translated to Monday, 9-Dec, when 8-Dec falls on Sunday, which is necessarily the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and which is precedent over the Solemnity. The obligation to assist at mass does not translate in such case.

Take a look at 2013’s calendar, if you don’t believe me.

Not a Canon Lawyer, but a Liturgical Calendar Nerd :nerd:

I beg to differ. If the OP is studying on a sports scholarship, and maintaining that scholarship is essential to completing his education, then jeopardizing that education by not fulfilling his sports commitments would not be expected of him. A scholarship athlete is expected to maintain a very high level of training and missing even a single practice can compromise training.

It would be no different than someone’s work obligations that prevent fulfilling the HDO, or being obliged to miss Mass to write an exam.

Please don’t try to place an excessive burden on someone’s shoulders without knowing all the facts. We are not legalists, and the Church allows for legitimate exceptions to Mass attendance on HDOs.

If the OP is in doubt, I recommend instead of getting an answer here, to ask his pastor for advice, and if necessary, a dispensation.

I am talking about the Saturday/Monday abrogation that the other poster referenced.

Also, BTW:

Under her title the Immaculate Conception, Mary is patroness of the USA.

Under her title Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary is patroness of the Americas.


Yes, thank you. Patroness of the USA. Sometimes the keyboard and the brain are not in sync.

There are a lot of “ifs” in your post. And even if on the slim chance the OP’s situation is like the one you have described, he (assuming he is a “he”) could have made arrangements several days or weeks ago asking that he be able to take his test at an alternate time or let his coach know that he had a religious function that demanded his attention on this particular date. Not to mention he could have attended a vigil mass tonight. There are so many opportunities to fulfill this obligation. And yet you attack my post for trying to encourage someone not to make light of his obligation and accuse me of"legalism" for simply relating what the Church obliges us to do?

I’m not attacking, I expressed a difference of opinion. I’m suggesting some mitigating circumstances that perhaps in all charity we should consider, since we don’t know all of them; for example in the rural area I live (and some colleges are indeed in rural areas) there’s no such thing as a Sunday evening Mass (it wouldn’t be a “vigil” Mass, a misnomer in this case, but a Sunday Mass since Sundays of Advent take precedence over the solemnity, and there’s no first Vespers for the solemnity this year). I’m also not making light of the obligation. You’ll note I suggested he take it up with his (her?) pastor. That’s the appropriate place for an answer, and if needed, a dispensation.

If the person were talking about a job requirement, most people would say that he is automatically excused if there’s no reasonable possibility to attend Mass. I suggested that perhaps a college education, and the means to support it (in this case a possible athletic scholarship), are every bit as serious as a job; moreover if the sport is a team sport, one has to consider the entire team. Clearly the OP is concerned enough to ask, suggesting to me that (s)he does take the obligation seriously enough, but again, the place for a proper answer in these matters is one’s pastor.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit