Evening Mass and missing Mass ... questions!

I recently attended some RCIA sessions at a local parish with a friend (going with her for support and also interested in seeing what this session taught) and the instructor, a very nice man in his late '20s who appears to be very devout, said two things that I don’t know are correct. I certainly have/had heard differently and would like some clarification.

  1. He said it is wrong to attend an evening Mass (Saturday vigil or Sunday evening) because it more convenient for you or because you “prefer” that Mass. He said morning Mass is preferred and evening Masses were just created for people who had to work or the elderly, and attending either because you “prefer” it is wrong and selfish. is this true? I certainly have never heard this. Growing up we were simply taught it was important to get to Mass and since our church offered multiple Masses at different times, it was your responsibility to make it to one of them!!! I for one attend our parish’s Saturday evening Mass frequently because it’s a very prayerful mood there, the music is very sacred and the priest who celebrates it is an excellent homilist!

  2. Is it always a MORTAL sin if you miss a Sunday Mass even if you made a serious effort to go? That is what this instructor said. I was taught that you had to make every effort to attend Mass, but there were valid reasons such as personal illness, illness of a child or if for instance your car broke down on the way to Mass and you didn’t make it. Is it still a mortal sin that needs to be confessed before you can take communion again, even if you have missed Sunday Mass for a reason beyond your control?

Please help me clear this up. I’m afraid this instructor may have been giving the RCIA folks some bad advice…:confused:

  1. No, he’s wrong. The Saturday vigil was NOT created for workers/ elderly and you can certainly prefer it.

I would ask him to kindly point out the relevant documentation that supports his assertion (but be charitable when he can’t find it and apologises.)

  1. He is confusing grave matter with mortal sin.

Missing Mass is OBJECTIVELY WRONG or ‘grave matter’. Always.
HOWEVER as you correctly note, there are reasonable times where you miss through no fault of your own and in THOSE cases it is not mortal sin. Something being ‘grave matter’ does not mean ‘always mortal sin’.

Because you did not deliberately CHOOSE to miss, one of the three requirements for mortal sin (full consent) is missing. Therefore: No mortal sin.

Wow! He’s wrong on both counts. That’s what’s comes of putting people who lack knowledge and formation in positions of authority such as this. Reminds me of the confirmation teacher who taught my son’s class that if you did something and afterward felt bad about it it was probably a sin. Hmm, sins are not retroactive, you have to know you’re sinning in order to commit a sin.

  1. You may certainly go to any Mass on Saturday evening or any time on Sunday to fulfill your Sunday obligation, and you can choose any of those Masses for any reason at all.

  2. There are times, like when you’re sick, or when your child is sick, or when the weather is dangerous to travel in, when you should NOT go to Mass. I’m not sure about the car breaking down. Certainly if it causes you to miss the only Mass available, there is no sin, but I’m not sure if you would be required to go to another Mass, if it was available. I’m thinking the answer is yes…

Why not also ask the RCIA teacher about these issues again - maybe he misspoke before or you misunderstood what he said. Let him explain. Be charitable first, before attacking him. Then if he is still teaching unsatisfactually talk to the priest and volunteer yourself to help at RCIA.

thank you for clearing this up! If I attend another session (it’s not my parish), I plan to bring the issues up nicely and see if maybe he was just not clear on what he was trying to say. I thought on both issues …especially the evening Mass one! … that he was off base. I’m just mainly concerned that the RCIA students there are getting correct information!

I’m glad to know the evening Masses are fine to attend! That was my mom’s favorite Mass when she was alive! :slight_smile:

I was told in my RCIA class that it DOES fulfill your Sunday obligation and this stemmed from the Jewish Sabbath beginning at sundown. (Sundown on a Saturday =next day) I was also told though we consider a day 24 hours, the church has made a provision for this and that is how we came to allowing Saturday mass to fulfill your Sunday obligation.

I’m not the best with words. They explained it better in our class. I know others have already given you a “yes”, but I thought it might be helpful to know that in other RCIA classes, they are not sending that same message.

Saturday evening mass fulfills your Sunday obligation.The RCIA instructor was wrong.

In our parish at least, when the Saturday Vigil Mass was first brought in, it was explained as being for doctors etc. who had to work on a Sunday, so if the RCIA instructor was of an older generation, perhaps this is what he thought still applied. I remember having quite a heated discussion with someone in the parish about it, when I said I liked to go on Sat. pm.

Over the years, the ‘requirement’ that it was for emergencies, so to speak, was quietly de-emphasised. But I know at least one older person that feels strongly it is cheating, somehow, not keeping the Sabbath on the day it should be.

As others have said, the gentleman instructing the class was incorrect on both counts. It sounds like he was trying to instill in the class a proper reverence and respect for the Mass and our Sunday obligation, and I applaud that, but he ought to do so accurately :rolleyes:.

A Saturday vigil Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation, as does a Sunday evening Mass. Yes, these became ‘normal’ in order to make Mass attendance more convenient for people who have to work weekends…but you may attend any Sunday Mass (which includes the Saturday vigil) and it fulfills your obligation, and you may decide which Mass to attend based on whatever reasons you want. There is nothing wrong or selfish about going to an Saturday vigil or Sunday evening Mass if it’s most convenient for you.

It is not always a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass. Obviously you should make every effort to go, but if there is no Mass offered in a place you can get to, or if you are ill, or if somebody in your family is ill, or if the roads are impassible/dangerous due to weather…these are all valid reasons to miss. There is no sin in these cases. Now, if you have a slight cold and decide to skip, that might be mortal… It’s more about intent than anything else. If you missed because of fear of driving in the conditions, or because you felt really, really awful, that’s fine. If you missed because you didn’t want to go, and used a cold or a bit of snow as an excuse, that’s a sin.

Of course, you can also get a dispensation from a Priest allowing you not to go as well (although they should only grant one for serious reasons). I’ve heard of people who have mental issues (serious anxiety) and can’t go unless somebody takes them, and they can often be dispensed from the obligation when necessary.

If you have a chance, you may want to (politely) correct the gentleman who led the class. I really doubt he was being malicious, but he and the class need to know what the actual Church teaching on this is.

Canon Law says that any Mass on a Saturday evening or anytime on Sunday fulfills your Sunday obligation and any Mass in the evening preceding a Holy Day of Obligation and anytime during that HDO fulfills the obligation.

Absolutely on target:

Can. 1248 §1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day.

very interesting to read… :thumbsup:

=SouthernCelt;7803080]I recently attended some RCIA sessions at a local parish with a friend (going with her for support and also interested in seeing what this session taught) and the instructor, a very nice man in his late '20s who appears to be very devout, said two things that I don’t know are correct. I certainly have/had heard differently and would like some clarification.

  1. He said it is wrong to attend an evening Mass (Saturday vigil or Sunday evening) because it more convenient for you or because you “prefer” that Mass. He said morning Mass is preferred and evening Masses were just created for people who had to work or the elderly, and attending either because you “prefer” it is wrong and selfish. is this true? I certainly have never heard this. Growing up we were simply taught it was important to get to Mass and since our church offered multiple Masses at different times, it was your responsibility to make it to one of them!!! I for one attend our parish’s Saturday evening Mass frequently because it’s a very prayerful mood there, the music is very sacred and the priest who celebrates it is an excellent homilist!

Good ententions do not always bring good results. Evening Masses are Approved by Rome and the USCCB. It’s based on Jewish Sabbath Traditions that start the Sabbath at sundown on the eve before.

  1. Is it always a MORTAL sin if you miss a Sunday Mass even if you made a serious effort to go? That is what this instructor said. I was taught that you had to make every effort to attend Mass, but there were valid reasons such as personal illness, illness of a child or if for instance your car broke down on the way to Mass and you didn’t make it. Is it still a mortal sin that needs to be confessed before you can take communion again, even if you have missed Sunday Mass for a reason beyond your control?

Wrong AGAIN.

It is a moral sin to intend to Miss Sunday Mass w/o a Good and valid reason such us illness [your’s or perhaps family], or work schedule; or legitiment lack of opportunity or transportation. God is demanding BUT Reasonable and JUST!

Please help me clear this up. I’m afraid this instructor may have been giving the RCIA folks some bad advice…:confused:

It would be a good idea to share this information with the DRE or pastor. IT"s IMPORTANT to do so. Enthuism is so offset for truth.

God Bless,
Pat

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