Grave sin?


Yesterday I took a trip out of town with my wife regarding family matters. We knew we would be tired when we returned home later last night, a Saturday night, so we had planned on going to a Saturday evening Sunday vigil Mass once we arrived into the major city we were driving to.

Once we arrived in the city, it took longer than we anticipated and we missed Mass on Saturday evening. So we knew although we would get in very late we had to get up this morning for Mass.

Well, I was awake at 7:00 am and said to the wife, “let’s get up and get ready”. She pleaded on sleeping a little longer even though we were awake, as she didn’t want to go to the first, 8:00 am Mass, and suggested that we could go to a later Mass either at 9:30 or 11:00 am. So we went back to sleep, and yes we overslept. We didn’t make Mass at all and failed our Sunday obligation.

My question is (as we haven’t been Catholic very long) although we didn’t deliberately miss Mass, did we commit a grave sin by failing our Sunday obligation, and if so does this exclude communion until confession? Or is it a grave sin only when you intentionally plan on missing it?


For myself I have determined that it is. This used to happen to me a lot, and I would “decide by not deciding”. I found that the more it happened, the more it was likely to happen. I realized I was giving in to the flesh, and by not prioritizing God, I was profaning the Sabbath. Now I tell myself, when I am tired, that I can come hope and nap afte.


It cannot be a grave sin if it is not deliberate. Unlike what happened to the first person to reply, you did not “decide by not deciding.” You have no history of oversleeping and missing Mass.

So, while you may have made a questionable decision to go back to sleep without setting another alarm, you did not intentionally miss Mass, and I would say, you committed no mortal sin.

That said, it’s still Sunday where I am, and there are evening Masses available. Is that a possibility for you? Are you in the U.S.? You can search for a Mass near you at I just checked this website, and they are having a fundraiser, so to search, you can click on the donations page to get your information without making a donation if you don’t wish to.




Thanks for the reply Betsy. The only Sunday evening Mass is almost a hundred miles away in the previous mentioned large city we were at yesterday. We considered going, at least I did, but got vetoed driving so far.

This is the first Sunday obligation we have missed since converting to Catholicism, except when I was hospitalized. So as you said, we don’t and won’t make this a habit.

So unless I read something diferent from other respondents, I take it we aren’t prohibited from taking communion from this incident. I have prayed and asked for forgiveness and promised to mention it at confession at the earliest opportunity, which is a week from today.

I hope by dwelling on this, I’m not being “scrupulous”.

Thanks again.


Sorry, I’m not perfect like some… as I said, we were tired from the trip the night before and didn’t wake up. Guess it’s people like me they have the confessional booth for.

Thanks for not answering the question presented, but judging us.


The mass for the shut ins (homebound) is also on TVI every Sunday. If you cannot make a physical communion, you can make a spiritual one.


You asked the question, so you asked people to judge your actions. Now that someone gave you an answer you do not like you accuse the person of judging you! Not logical!!


I asked if a something was a grave sin, I DID NOT ask to be judged! Who are YOU and the other person to judge anyone? Are YOU perfect? Even as a new Catholic, I know that is wrong.

God is my judge, not you or any other human.


WHERE is this judging? You presented the facts and you were responded to. It is easy to just say…“We overslept” and then that takes care of the situation. I am sure many have been over tired and have yet gotten up and taken themselves off to Mass. Even cell phones have alarms on them in this day and age.



I asked a simple question, was this a grave sin or not.

I have no interest whatsoever of your’s or anyone else’s stupid opinion whether you thought we should be able to wake up after we decided to stay in bed an extra 1.5 hours that accidentally turned into 2.5 hours, after we had a very tiresome day taking care of urgent family business out of town. Any opinion of this is judging. You can claim it’s not all you want, but it is. But then, you have a history of judging on this forum, don’t you? Does glaring and gossipping about catholic nursing mothers ring a bell?

I go out of my way of trying to attend Mass every single day, going to three different catholic churches in my area to do so. I made a single mistake that I have never made before and was wondering if it was a grave sin.

Thankfully, Betsy answered my question and did not judge. God bless her.


WOW! Charity in action here?! Harsalter, when you ask for opinions on a given situation, you are going to get various answers. Some answers are going to come from “relaxed” people, some from “moderate” people, and some from those who are more “strict” and take their obligation to God and His Church very seriously. They wouldn’t even consider laying down to sleep without setting an alarm (maybe 2 or 3 in my case) in order to be up in time for Mass. Therefore, I would make the suggestion that when one of “these” answers a post of yours in the future a simple “thank you for your response” is all that is needed rather than “JUDGING” their intentions and ASSUMING that they are criticizing you. To do otherwise might be viewed as less than charitable.


I would suggest that the best place to ask that question would be in the confessional. However my opinion is that it was your fault, however not intentional. I other words you didn’t wake up and decide that Mass was just not important this morning. However, you should have known better than to go back to sleep. Or at least one of you should have gotten up and let the other sleep a bit longer, that way one of you would have been able to wake the other up. venial sin.


You invited the members of these forums to give you opinions concerning your situation. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do about some of the responses that you received. In the future, it may save a lot of time and emotion if you simply put a note at the end of these type of emails saying something to the effect:

I would not appreciate honest answers concerning personal opinions. Please only reply if you wish to confirm to me that I am not incorrect. Otherwise, I may take your words as being judgmental, which might cause me to act uncharitable.

And for the record, we ARE supposed to judge the actions of others. If we do not, how then are we to admonish our brothers and sisters who stray? What we are NOT to judge is the soul. God bless.


Thanks for the response Br Rich. Again, you answered the question I submitted.

Eight people responded thus far but only two people attempted to answer my question. If priests in the booth were like some on this forum, no one would go to confession. God bless you Br Rich and Betsy.

I already believed I sinned, I had already prayed for forgiveness, I already vowed not to do it again, I aleady vowed to go to confession, I simply needed to know if it was a grave or venial sin, so I would know if I could take communion this week. My priest usually rushes in and out of weekday Masses, so I may not have an opportunity to ask him.

As e-military, I do not need lessons on alarm clocks. I usually have ran a few miles before most people quit dreaming. But again, I am not perfect like some on this forum seem to be. I make a mistake every now and then.


Ooooh, I must have touched a nerve.:rolleyes: Pretty interesting comments about me from someone who is a new member and recently joined as of March 15, 2007!! LOL…You put the post out there, then just expect to get answers.:thumbsup:



No. I asked if inadvertently missing Mass was a grave or venial sin.

Am I posting in Latin or some other language?


I don’t think anyone is saying they are perfect or trying to insinuate that No one has made it personal, except your comments about me… But, I still gotta wonder about the alarm clock thing. Take care…and good luck…:slight_smile:



Blyss, I did not aim to go back to sleep. My wife asked to go to a later Mass so she could get some sleep as we were out late yesterday taking care of family business out of town. I started watching Fr John Corapi that my DVR had recorded last night. I did not mean to, but I then fell asleep myself so I had not reset the alarm clock.

I did not realize I needed to go into such detail to find out if inadvertently missing Mass was a grave or venial sin. I thought my original question was too long to begin with.

Anyways, the best to you and everyone else that responded. My apologies if I responded to criticisms unchristian like. Even if I felt I was wronged, I was also wrong in responding the way I did. Please forgive me as I have already forgiven for any hurt feelings caused to me.


You did, and until your later post, which was sarcastic and uncharitable, there wasn’t any problem. Now this is really getting old, so I’ll be brief and move on. But for the record, no one here claimed to be perfect (you brought that “stuff” up). No one here attacked you personally for your original question (you became defensive and sarcastic when you got a response that questioned why you did not use an alarm clock). Perhaps the poster of that reply was simply suggesting that in the future an alarm clock might help to prevent a situation like the one you encountered.

Drop the ignorant sarcasm. It still does not look good on you.

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