Is it necessary to attend Mass on Sundays?


I was wondering if the Church says we must attend Mass on Sundays. I work on Sundays and attend Mass at my local parish every Wednesday and sometimes on Saturdays at another parish. Does the Church look down on me for this or is it okay to go to Mass when I’m not working? Thanks. :tiphat::tiphat:


You could fulfill your obligation by attending Saturday evening or anytime on Sunday.

Sundays are important! The Catechism spells it out.

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”117 “The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”118 (2042, 1389)

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.


If your work schedule is such that you cannot attend either a Saturday evening Mass or a Mass on Sunday, you are not expected to do the impossible. However, there are early morning and late evening options in most cities and you are expected to make your best effort to meet your Sunday Obligation. It’s not that the Church will “look down on you” but that failure to attend Sunday Mass if you are able is grave matter.

Going to Mass on a Wednesday is nice but has nothing to do with attending Sunday Mass and does not substitute. Going to Mass on Saturday **evening **is great and meets your Sunday obligation.


Most employers are sensitive to one’s religious obligations. You should ask your employer if you could come in later on Sundays and Holidays or earlier, or something similar on Saturdays. If he won’t make any accomodation, you need to try to find a more understanding employer - but don’t let your current employer know you are looking.



Unfortunately my schedule can’t be changed due to the nature of my work and I couldn’t expect my boss to change my schedule. I will have to make sure I go to Mass on Saturdays if that if that is acceptable according to the Church. I try my best to be a good Catholic and fulfill my obligations to the Church and to our Lord.


Saturday evening is great. I’m glad you’re able to go then. :slight_smile:


Please speak to your priest about dispensations. Sometimes people have work commitments that make it impossible to attend mass freely. For example, quite a few years ago, I explained to my priest that I could no longer be an EMHC as I had to answer the duty phone whenever I was not at work (even if I was on holiday or off sick). I received dispensation to abandon EMHC duties if the phone went off. I was a Casualty Officer and needed to co-ordinate and brief various people in the event of an incident, and not even my line manger would put themselves out to cover.


I’m just thankful that Saturday is acceptable otherwise I would be on big trouble. Thank you to everyone who helped answer my question.:thankyou::thankyou::thankyou:


Thank you I may speak to my priest about it anyway because I do sometimes have to work on Saturday is one of my employees calls in and I can’t find someone to cover their shift. I manage a kitchen in a nursing home and the people we take care of have to eat so it’s impossible for me not to take my job seriously and a supervisor is needed here on weekends as well as during the week.


NB: Assiting at Mass on Saturday evening fulfills one’s obligation for Sunday.

Just sayin’, since I did not see that word in any of your posts.



The Church says that we are obligated to go to Church on Sunday, and that it’s a Mortal Sin not to go, Canon 1247 "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body." There are some exceptions, possibly in your case.

If it’s mandatory for you to go to work on Sunday’s, then you are not sinning by missing mass. Although if you intentionally do it then it’s a Mortal Sin. You should also look to see if mass is held at a time on Sunday at your Parish you maybe aren’t aware of, and it would be a time you are off work. You should also attend the Saturday evening mass, that can fulfill your Sunday obligation.


Which word are you speaking of “assiting?” I have never used that word. Is that the official term for “going to Mass?”


No, the bolded* word.

You repeatedly mentioned going to Mass on Saturday, but only Masses celebrated Saturday


  • satisfy the obligation – A Mass on Saturday morning would not.

(* That word --> evening)



Going to Mass on Saturday evenings is perfectly fine and acceptable. Frankly that’s when my hubby and I go as we look forward to sleeping in on Sundays. Going to Mass on Wednesday is NOT required–but how wonderful that you go to a daily Mass at least once during the week.

I’m nurse practitioner. Sometimes I had to work and missed Mass entirely on Saturday and Sunday both. If you have to work and there’s absolutely no way you can get to any Mass on either Saturday or Sunday, then you are excused and it is certainly not a sin in any way, shape or form. Just be honest about it though. My parish is small–but even it has masses on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening as well. To not go because you have to work is one thing. To not go because you’ve had to work and are just flat tired and want to go home is a totally different thing and would be a sin.:thumbsup:


“Assisting at Mass” is a different way of saying “going to Mass” or “attending Mass.” They all mean the same thing.


Hi msammiem,

If you could go to Mass Saturday evening to the vigil Mass like someone already mentioned, that would satisfy your Sunday Mass obligation.

If you could go to a really early Mass on Sunday morning, like 7 a.m., or one on Sunday evening like 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. on your way home from work–if you get off of work by that time–you would still be fulfilling your Sunday Mass obligation, too.

These are just some suggestions if you were able to get to Mass at these times, and parishes in your area had any Masses at any of these times. :slight_smile:

I worked a seasonal retail job during the holidays one year during the Christmas season and I was expected to work weekends, so I would go to Mass at whatever church in my area had a Mass that would fit in around my work schedule.


Please note that attending any Mass on Saturday evening fulfills the Sunday obligation. Attending Mass on Saturday morning or afternoon does not.


Mass is at 4:00 here on Saturdays. Will that work?


Yes, that’s fine.

Different bishops (and bishops’ conferences) define “evening” in different ways. You can feel confident that your parish is adhering to whatever guidelines the bishop has established.


The Latin word in Canon Law is “vespere” which is more LOTH based than any English definition of “evening.” Answer to your question is yes. And also note that this becomes “dominici” or the Lord’s Day.

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