Easter Sunday Options


For medical reasons WHICH I WILL NOT DISCLOSE OR DISCUSS I cannot attend Catholic Easter Sunday services.

I was thinking of going to a protestant church. For the same reason services at Anglican, lutheran and any variation of “Catholic lite” are also out.

Would it be OK to attend a protestant church, and if so is there any denomonations which I should be particularly careful of due to doctrine?


If you can go out to a protestant church, why can’t you go to a Catholic one?


The obligation is to attend a Catholic Mass, not any other type of service. If you are ill and cannot attend Mass then you have no obligation. Attending a service from another religious community seems wrong to me since it implies that the service can replace the Mass.


Very well said. (**Nothing **replaces the Mass.)

Perhaps you can watch it on EWTN if you can’t go physically.


medical element won’t let me go to a Catholic Mass for Easter. I have a lifetime dispensation from the Trinnidum and a few other times a year.

I don’t have a TV or internet at my home.

I’d like to do something for Easter…I’m not really worried about sending the wrong message…


Then why ask here? Do what you please since it makes no difference to you.


I care about litirgucal RULES, not opinions of strangers.

However, I would value input of christian options. Afterall we are CHRISTIANS first and foremost.


The RULE is:

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

§2. If participation in the eucharistic celebration becomes impossible because of the absence of a sacred minister or for another grave cause, it is strongly recommended that the faithful take part in a liturgy of the word if such a liturgy is celebrated in a parish church or other sacred place according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop or that they devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.

Perhaps you can devote yourself to prayer for a suitable time alone or with your family.


No, it would not be ok to substitute any protestant service for the Mass. If the reason for you not being able to attend Mass has to do with a specific element of the Mass, have you called different parishes to see if any of them offer a Mass free of the substance? (Since you mention that you also could not attend a liturgical protestant service, I am guessing that the issue has to do with incense used at the Mass.) If there is no option to attend a Mass free of the substance that is causing you health concerns, you are not obligated to attend Mass at all. The thing is, you cannot attend a protestant service with the idea that it is interchangeable with the Mass.


if you can’t get to Mass for any valid reason, and medical certainly qualifies, you have no obligation. If you want to be at least in some Christian environment on Easter yes you can go to any church, some of them advertise in local papers if they have special programs, chorales etc. that you may find inspirational. but you have no obligation to go anywhere if you cannot get to Mass, and any other non-Catholic service in no way “substitutes” for Mass participation, it would just be something you do on your own to create a devotional environment for yourself in the absence of the opportunity for Mass. You are not sending any kind of message by this private choice.


Would it be possible for you to go to mass and sit/stand in the narthex rather than in the sanctuary? If it were me, I would do that rather than going to a Protestant service.

I would want to receive Jesus in the Eucharist as I celebrate his glorious ressurection. If you were to alert the ushers, I’m certaint they see to it that you were able to receive by it being brought to you as we often do with anyone who has limited mobility.


It wouldn’t be a substitution but if I were you, knowing the medical reason, I would turn on EWTN and watch the Easter Mass from Rome. That way you get to experience a Catholic service visually.

The thing is, going to say the local “Bible” church isn’t going to do you much spiritual good.

First, you would be ‘comparing’ the services. You’d be ‘missing’ the Catholic service and you’d be disappointed with the other service.

Second, you’d have to be on constant guard not to be absorbing ‘wrong’ doctrine.

Third, you’d feel an ‘obligation’ when/if you met the nice people who would be all welcoming you at this protestant service. . .and you’d feel resentful for being obliged. And if you told these people, "Hey, I’m only here because I can’t go medically to a Catholic service’. . .don’t you think they might be, just a bit, ‘insulted?’

Like, "Oh our services aren’t good enough for you except when you just can’t physically attend a Catholic one, then suddenly you’ll grace us with your presence even though you don’t agree with our doctrines that day only as a ‘it’s better than nothing?’


Does your Church have a sealed off cry room? That might be an option.


As long as you know it doesn’t replace the mass, I would go! I’ve been to many protestant holiday services. they are beautiful and spiritually moving!


our parish has a cry room that is completely disjoined from the church. it’s part of the “parish center” which has other entrances, so it’s not even necessary to enter through the narthex. because it doesn’t have the view of mass, it’s got a big tv with the closed circuit video. perhaps you could find a different parish in your area that has something like that?

as others have said, medical conditions relieve you of the obligation - but you should never try to replace mass with a protestant service.

what about volunteering somewhere, like at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter? that would be a very christian thing to do. :slight_smile:


Frankly, I just don’t see how you could have a medical condition that prevents you from going to one building but not another.


we don’t need that info, poster has already said he has a dispensation from his priest so it is none of our business.


Ditto that.


The op said: I have a lifetime dispensation from the Trinnidum and a few other times a year.

(a) There’s no such thing as a **lifetime **dispensation. Mass attendance dispensations are a case by case situation.

(b) There is no obligation to attend the entire Triduum. There is only the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses.

© If there is a situation that warrants it, the priest can certainly give a dispensation for a particular Mass.

Again, what possible medical condition would prevent you from going to worship in building A but not impede you from going to worship in building B. It makes no sense.


As another poster pointed out, the use of incense would be one reason. Some people are severely allergic, and it can also trigger migraines.

I don’t know if this is the OP’s situation, but this might be a circumstance where someone would be fine in a building where incense was not being used.

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