Is it a sin to miss mass on accident?


I was planning to go to mass today as always, but for some reason I slept through my alarm clock and woke up at the time when the mass would end. Is this a sin?


Mortal sin requires three things, gravity of the sin (check), intent (no check), full-knowledge (check). You had no intent to miss Mass, therefore not a mortal sin. Venial, I dunno, but probably not.

However, bear in mind that hardness of heart or feigned ignorance do not mitigate sin but rather can even increase it. If you overslept because you partied incredibly hard and went to bed at 6 AM, thinking “maybe I’ll make it… (but not really)” then this would render the act probably quite sinful.

Of course I would never assume that to be the case, I’m only stating it for purposes of clarity.

That all being said, are you able to check your dioceses’ website? You may well live around churches that offer Masses at a later time. I’ve been to Mass as late as 7:30 PM I think. If there is one within a reasonable driving distance, and you have the means and the competence to get there (some have no car, others are afraid of becoming lost, etc…), you ought to attend.


Do you mean there is only one Mass at your parish Church on Sundays?


We have only one mass per week at my parish, we are in a rural area. And we have no Sunday evening masses within 200 miles. Sunday evening masses simply aren’t done and never have been as far as I can tell.


We cannt answer that. We can tell you it is grave matter. You must do an honest examination of conscience to determine if it was a sin.

Was it really an accident? If so, then it isn’t a sin (assuming you tried to go to another mass and there simply isn’t one available).

But if, for example, you know you have a habit of sleeping through the alarm if you stay up too late the night before and did so anyway, then perhaps you should consider whether or not this was really accidental or if you have culpability for your part in it.

We don’t know all those variables, you do. If you are not well versed in how to form your conscience, talk to your priest for help.


No it’s not, but surely there is a later mass today you can go to?

Still keep the lords day. Spend some time with God and rest.


At my parish Church nobody has an excuse to miss Mass because they slept in late as we have 10 Masses every Sunday.


Be thankful.


Accidental sin is a contradiction in terms.

Negligence, on the other hand, can be sinful. Only you can decide if you engaged in negligent behavior that caused the oversleep. As a general rule, if you’re worried about it, you probably weren’t negligent. If you have any history of scrupulosity, then this event definitely wasn’t sinful.


Also on other Holy Days of Obligation we have the Sunday Mass schedule so everyone should be able to fulfill their obligation.


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