I am struggling a little with the Catholic obligation to attend Mass every week and would like your input. This is not a real big deal for me, but I would put it in the category of a pet peeve – if I were a Catholic.
I am a protestant who attends church service probably about 47 or 48 times out of 52 weeks. I look forward to attending church and go out of a desire to follow God and be with fellow believers. I also attend to be spiritually fed and to serve others as an usher. I may miss once in a blue moon due to illness, vacation, or being on-call at my work and getting a call Sunday morning before church service and have to go in to work, but that’s about it.
Well, for the sake of full disclosure, I did miss church service once last year because I stayed home and watched “Breakfast at Wimbledon”. My church doesn’t have a Saturday night service or else I would have gone then.
Shouldn’t a believer (Catholic or non-Catholic) attend church out of desire to be in God’s House rather than be compelled out of a sense of obligation? Otherwise, to me it sounds more like coercion to get parishoners to attend by calling it a sin. By the way, I understand one of the Ten Commendments is to ‘Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy’ but when I have to travel on a Sunday sometimes the best I can do is go to the airport chapel or listen to church on the radio in my car on the interstate.
Correct me if I a wrong, but it doesn’t seem fair to have to confess the sin of missing church when you get an emergency call from work and have to report there on an emergency problem during the time that church is in progress. To me, if that is a sin, I can see why so many people have Scupulosity issues. .
Note: In my heart, I do realize I probably sinned – Ok, I did sin – by staying home and watching “Breakfast at Wimbledon” that one Sunday. I probably should have just DVR’ed it. :). I wonder what kind of penance I would’ve gotten for that.