Recently a very dear friend of ours, someone very conscientious and helpful around the parish, told us a week ahead of time of his plan not to attend Mass in order to take care of some routine household repairs which his wife needed done. (She is a lapsed Catholic.)
This has happened on other occasions with different friends, and as an adult Catholic convert, I was really shocked. How may I respond to friends, some who are “Cradle Catholics” who blithely announce that “Sorry I won’t see you next week at Mass- I’m going to play hookey so I can clean the garage,” (or clear out the attic, get ahead in line at the shopping mall sales, etc?) We do have a Sat. Vigil Mass and two Masses on Sunday from which to choose. These reasons they give are not emergency situations, or illness -related.
I would like to say something right then and there that is firmly planted in scripture or Canon law, that will help them. What exactly would you say?
In some instances, the person is married to a lapsed Catholic (or to a protestant) spouse who rarely attends Mass for various reasons. These Catholic friends also attend Mass somewhat regularly, but often plea the need to sleep in late on Sunday (and are too busy for the Sat. Vigil Mass, etc.) I was thinking I might say something like “Oh, I wouldn’t want to have to confess that later.” Sometimes I’ve asked “How about one of the other Mass time?”
What would be the best, informative response that will get the message across? Do you think that it would help if Parish priests would say something during the homily about the importance of Mass attendance?