Didn't make it to Mass


#1

Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?


#2

I've had this problem several times. I always treated it as a mortal sin. Better safe than sorry.


#3

It's a prudential judgment that is best left up to the person's priest.

So, the person (and I hasten to add this is my opinion) should say an act of contrition, and should call his priest ASAP and ask the priest's opinion. IF the priest says, "You had the intention of coming but physically felt unable to do so safely, so this was not a sin", then everything is fine.There is no mortal sin, no need for confession. IF the priest says, "Hmmm, well, I think that once you had started you probably could have come to the Church just as easily as returning to your home, and made Mass so yes, I think this was a mortal sin on your part", THEN the person could say, "Father, could I make an appointment then for confession at our mutual convenience as early as possible?"

Either way, you have a person in authority (the priest) making the decision, and the person in question will get the advice he needs.


#4

To attend Sunday Mass (or Saturday Vigil) is a precept of the Church.

This is grave matter.

If you fully knew that it was mortal sin to disobey this precept of the Church, and deliberately consented to disobey, then I would say it is mortal sin.

If any of the above is missing, it may be venial sin.

I say "may" because only the confessor will be able to tell you.

However, missing Holy Mass is not a sin per se if you could not attend because of reasons behind your will (ex, if you are sick).

Given your explanation, I personally think there is no sin at all, because your intention was a most holy one: to preserve the lives of innocent people.

You should speak to your pastor and try to obtain a dispensation based on this motivation. Holy Church does not want you or others to risk their lives.


#5

[quote="SHoJ, post:1, topic:300273"]
Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?

[/quote]

If your intention was to attend Mass, but found it physically impossible, there was no sin involved. If you are not sure of the conditions that were present, then mention it to the priest. Mass attendance, while extremely important, is not required under very difficult conditions.


#6

Always do your absolute best, if not than watch mass on EWTN


#7

[quote="SHoJ, post:1, topic:300273"]
Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?

[/quote]

Most areas have a Sunday evening mass or later masses on Sunday. I've seen one parish that even offered a 7 pm mass. Get a list of mass times and you may still make mass today.


#8

[quote="SHoJ, post:1, topic:300273"]
Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?

[/quote]

May I ask if there is church Sunday afternoon? I personally don't believe you committed a mortal sin because you missed mass, however, as a catholic this issue probably needs to be addressed with a priest, especially if it's an ongoing thing.

That said, I believe it is your intent that is most important of all. Attending church is not just about being physically present in mass but the connection that you make with God while you're there. If you weren't able to attend mass because of your job you could still talk to God and worship and praise Him right there in the car on the way home from work. I'm not saying this should take the place of going to church, but you can always connect with God wherever you are. God is omnipresent (everywhere) but does manifest His presence in the places where He is worshipped (church and otherwise),

Attending mass and worshipping God is the stepping stone to worshipping and connecting with God on a daily basis. That is where your walk with God should take you.

God Bless


#9

Hi, SHoJ------Try not to worry about it or you'll get even less sleep! Your priest can give you the official answer that we cannot.

I seriously urge you to consider whether you may suffer from sleep apnea. Google the term; you can read about it on several sites. Although you may not recall waking during the night, there can be over a hundred times that your body "wakens," as can be determined by electrodes attached to you while you are tested as you sleep in an overnight study. Sometimes breathing is interrupted or stopped several times an hour, resulting in less oxygen for your brain.

Sleep deprivation causes millions of road and other accidents each year, not only from literally falling asleep while doing something, but, also, from foggy thinking, inattentiveness, and inability to make split-second decisions. It leads to obesity, heart disease, and a run-down condition that invites other diseases and prevents the body from overcoming minor issues that it can normally handle without medication. All your body organs (including heart, kidneys, and liver) and systems are repaired while you sleep, so you endanger your health if you have untreated sleep apnea

Please google to determine if just maybe your doctor could help you with this problem, even if you think you have no sleep problems whatsoever.

Good luck to you!


#10

If you're physically incapable of staying awake, or very close to it, particularly for something such as having to work a night shift (it's not like you're out all night on Saturday night engaging in sinful behaviour), such would not be a sin. Sleep is an important task for the body, as this is when the body does it's "repair" work, etc. If you try to ignore your body telling you it needs sleep, it will just fall asleep. I've been there where I was so sleep deprived that I literally fell asleep while eating supper.


#11

[quote="SHoJ, post:1, topic:300273"]
Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?

[/quote]

Was it you? If so, at what point did you realize that you were driving dangerously? How many lives did you put in jeopardy by simply driving back home? How close to the church were you? Do you have to work most Saturday nights? If so, what is your plan from now on?

All of these questions come into play when you ask if something is a sin.


#12

I have worked nights for @25 years. Is there an evening mass that you can go to after yu get home. maybe you can set the alarm clock and get up in time for the noon mass. How about going to mass on Saturday evening. Going to mass on Sunday is very important. To miss mass through your own fault is a mortal sin. The two very important questions are Where is the Catholic Church (s) in the area? And what is the mass schedule?


#13

[quote="SHoJ, post:1, topic:300273"]
Suppose there is someone who works overnight Saturday night (and they are lucky to have a job) and has every intention to go to Mass on Sunday after they get off work. On the way to Mass, they have trouble keeping their eyes open, so they decide to go home and sleep rather than fall asleep behind the wheel, possibly injuring or killing someone.

Is missing Mass for this reason a sin? If so, what kind (mortal? venial?)?

[/quote]

Why couldn't such a person go to Mass Saturday evening before starting their work. Saturday evening Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation.


#14

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