Going to Mass while sick

Another thread got me thinking: should you go to Mass on Sunday if you are sick with just a normal cold?

I always assumed yes, unless you are really feeling terrible (like not going to go to work/school). Others have mentioned others have poorer immune systems, so it would be bad to give a cold to them.

Thoughts?

FWIW, no, I didn’t just do that. In case you were wondering. Healthy for the moment

I think it’s wise if you dont go only because you dont want to get others sick, esp the elderly and others who are vulnerable.

If you do go, I would sick off away from others, not engage in touching during the sign of peace and receive in the hand. If the chalis is offered, please do not partake

I went to two Masses today and I feel as if I’m getting a cold. At the first one I just nodded my head during the sign of peace and for the second one there is no sign of peace in the Extraordinary Form anyways. I was also introduced to someone and simply told him I didn’t want to shake his hand because I thought I was getting a cold.

I think people are way too scared of germs any more to be honest. There was a time when unless you were sick in bed you were expected to go to Mass, work, school, whatever. Now someone gets the sniffles and everyone freaks out that they might catch it. I realize there are people with weak immune symptoms. My mom and one of my sons are both immunocompromised patients, but the average person is weakening their own immune symptoms by avoiding any and all illnesses. It’s really getting silly. I’ve even heard people state they get angry at someone that passes an illness on to them or their kids, and had people say that it is immoral to venture into public while sick. Germs happen and we’ve all passed things and had things passed to us from so many different places. A cold isn’t a reason to avoid people. The flu of course stay home. If you feel well enough to go to work then you should go see Jesus on Sunday as well.

**It’s a matter of prudential judgment. **

I have gone to Mass with mild colds, and I have also refrained from going. The deciding factors were whether I felt up to going, my symptoms, and the situation I was likely to encounter at the church.

In my small parish, I can sit by myself in a pew and not be near others. I can easily refrain from the peace by indicating I’ve had a cold. I carry hand sanitizer and use it if I cough or sneeze so I don’t get germs all around. If I were going to a parish that was packed with people in every pew and would be in close proximity to others, I would probably not go or would stand in the back.

In my old parish mass was like 1.5 to 1.75 hours because there were over 1,000 people at every Mass-- if I had a head cold just the parking, walking, getting there early and sitting through a 1.5 hour mass were too much for me. Now, I live in a small rural parish where you can leave your house and get there in 5 minutes, park in a small lot with minimal walking, not worry about getting there early to find a seat, and Mass is like 45 minutes long. So, I’m more able to go when not feeling 100%.

Again, prudential judgment.

My son and daughter-in-law both came down with terrible colds a few days before Christmas and were sick through Christmas. I was hoping I wouldn’t get sick, but I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a cough. I had planned on going to 10 am Mass, but decided against it.
I didn’t want to be passing germs to anyone else and it was really cold today so I thought it would be best to stay in bed.
My symptoms became progressively worse as the day went on.

I think out of respect to others it is best to stay home.

This is exactly how I feel. Colds and other viruses are a part of everyday life. We are exposed to cold viruses everywhere we go and we will either get them or our immune system will fight them off. If we do happen to get them, it is unpleasant for a couple of weeks and then we emerge with a stronger immune system. If I stayed home from all non-critical activities every time I or one of my children had a cold, we would have to quarantine ourselves for most of the winter. That is simply not a practical solution for what is, ultimately, a minor illness. I understand that some people are immune compromised and they need to take special precautions everywhere they go, whether or not someone is known to be sick. Many viruses are most contagious before a person even shows symptoms. A person who absolutely cannot get sick without serious consequences knows this and no doubt uses caution in all circumstances.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t be prudent when we know we are ill. I have a cold right now, as do two of my children. I brought hand sanitizer to church with me and I cautioned my children to avoid venerating the icons by kissing them.

As to whether the obligation still exists when we have a cold, I would think it depends upon the severity of the symptoms. As another poster said, prudential judgement comes into play here.

I’m a new Catholic, but can’t you have someone bring you the Eucharist when you are sick? I haven’t had first communion yet, and I don’t know how everything is done. I just know that the father where I attend mass has called people up to receive a portion of the Eucharist to take to the sick and to shut-ins. I’ve actually only seen him do that twice, so maybe it is something that they do once per month.

I have seen the father sick, and he is the first one to drink from the chalice. I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous about the communal chalice because I am prone to illness, and because there are a few serious things which can be passed on by saliva. I’ve only been to protestant churches where everyone gets little cups. I look forward to my first communion, but I will need a lot of strength from God for the chalice. Anyway, I have gotten colds at mass without taking communion, so I agree with just using your best judgment.

Stay home and don’t pass it on. I’m one of those people that catches these things easily. Every time in the past few years I have gotten a cold or flu it has been from church. Yes - someone coughing and sneezing right behind me or next to me in church. So, maybe I should avoid church all winter so everyone that’s sick can go?

:thumbsup: I agree! I don’t have a strong immunity system either. It really bothers me to see people in church coughing and sniffling.

Yes, germs and viruses are all around us. But please, don’t diminish the concerns of those of us who truly don’t wish to be sick. If I get sick, even a cold, I can miss work and have a huge loss of income. If the virus then goes through my family, it can cause a lot of issues. Every family is different. Don’t look at me strange if I see you coughing through Mass and into your hand–and then wish to extend that hand to me at the Sign of Peace. You’ll only be getting a heartfelt nod. Don’t think me uncharitable. There is often far more to things than meets the eye–or nose/throat.

There’s no obligation to receive the blood of Christ. I would have this morning had I not felt a sickness coming on. Come to think of it I was one of the last to drink some at a Mass I was at on Friday. :eek: Protestant churches might put it in cups but we can’t do that since there would be drops of it left over that would end up in the garbage. They can get away with it since theirs is only wine; ours is actually the blood of Christ. I was also tempted to receive communion in the hand today though I’ve told myself I never would again. Wouldn’t have been able to at the second Mass I went to in the Extraordinary Form anyways.

There’s no obligation to receive the blood of Christ. I would have this morning had I not felt a sickness coming on. Come to think of it I was one of the last to drink some at a Mass I was at on Friday. :hmmm: Protestant churches might put it in cups but we can’t do that since there would be drops of it left over that would end up in the garbage. They can get away with it since theirs is only wine (and some of them don’t even claim otherwise); ours is actually the blood of Christ. I was also tempted to receive communion in the hand today though I’ve told myself I never would again. Wouldn’t have been able to at the second Mass I went to in the Extraordinary Form anyways.

I can totally relate, and understand.

There are those of us who have asthma and other health issues, where a “cold” is never “minor,” but can usually turn into bronchitis or pneumonia really fast.

I agree with this.

I work in the microbiology lab, and we have been doing dozens of flu tests on each shift, and about 75% of these tests have been positive, which is amazing. In most seasons that I have worked, about 10% of the tests have been positive.

No one should diminish “flu”. It kills people. It can last for 14 days, and if you are one of the people who develops a secondary pneumonia, you can be sick for another 14 days, and have six months of symptoms (shortness of breath, tiredness, etc.)

Also, certainly throughout history, people got colds and kept going (although many died, too). But in the last decade, many of the common bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance, and there are some bacteria (mainly the Gram negative rods) that we have NO antibiotic for.

So the bacterial infections of today are often much MUCH worse than the bacterial infections of the past, not just for the immunocompromised, but for the strong young person.

I personally think that we need to stay home from work and school more often than we do, but unfortunately, most people can’t do this because of the demands of their job, or because they have no parent at home to care for them if they stay home from school.

My suggestion for all who are concerned is to wear gloves to church and keep them on–it used to be stylish. And in peak flu season (December through February), consider wearing a surgical mask. It looks silly, but you might save yourself from a horrible viral infection.

I stayed home from Mass yesterday as I have a bad cold, lots of chest congestion, sore throat, ear ache, the whole works. Normally, I attend daily Mass so I will be at home for the duration of this cold. Common sense tells me not to spread my own germs around and that I am more vulnerable to picking up another set of germs if I attend. The Lord knows my heart, so I am not concerned about missing Mass under these circumstances. I long to return, but refrain out of love for my fellow worshippers.

I missed mass december 7th and 8th because i had a horrible cold. I felt awful cause i almost never miss holy day mass or sunday…but i was coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose…my parents made me stay home. I felt much better the next weekend so did not miss mass for 3rd sunday of advent.

I am under orders from my Spiritual Director to stay home from Mass if I so much as suspect I might be contagious. The reason he gave me is that some people have compromised immune systems.

So, difficult as it is to forgo receiving the Eucharist, out of obedience I stay home.

You can receive the Eucharist at home, but you do have to make arrangements for that.

Also, it is not necessary to receive from the chalice. When you receive the Host, you receive all of Jesus: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Because I get sick easily, I always bypass the chalice.

Personally I wish people didn’t come to mass when they are sick.

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