Is Missing Sunday Mass Always a Sin?

I know missing the sunday obligation is bad but, in my particular case certain members of the household insist that I remain at home (for various reasons) on many sundays.

Considering that it is not fully under my will to miss the mass, but that I’m forced to miss it because of family issues and decisions (that I dont have a say in)… Then is this still considered a sin? And does it require confession?

Please advise, Im confused. Thanks.

I would say it depends.

If it’s, “Honey, please stay home because I want to spend time with you today,” or something like that, then yes, it would be a sin.

However, if there is something like coercion, or if it is simply not possible for you to get to Mass unless someone else drives you and they refuse, for example, then no, it would not be a sin.

Thanks for the reply. Well the problem is that I am a convert and family members do not understand the need for this, and think that I’m wasting time in the church which could be spent doing something around the house or spending time with the family. Getting there is not a problem as I have my own transport, the problem is if I do go, people become very angry.

I would wait to see what others say.

Well, from what you’ve described those people are behaving passive aggressively. I’m guessing they resent your conversion? You don’t say how old you are, but if you’re old enough to have your own transportation, you’re an adult or very close to it. It sounds to me like it’s time to establish some boundaries with these people.

“Aunt Julie, I understand you want to watch Tunnels of Time with me this morning. The thing is that Mass starts in 15 minutes. Tivo it and we’ll watch it together when I get back, Okay?”

If Aunt Julie gets angry, that’s on her, not you.


It sounds as if you are slightly afraid of your family’s reaction to your obligation to attend Mass unless a serious condition exists (illness, travel, having to care for infants). Do not be afraid! You need to present your faith as confidently as you can. If your family see that you cave to their desires, then what are you showing them about the faith? Tell them that whatever the situation, you are GOING TO attend Mass on the weekends unless there is an impending death in the family! :slight_smile:

But seriously…Just make your plans to go, and go. What they do after that is not important. You can deal with just about anything, but why would you let them determine whether you fail in your obligation to put God first on Sunday?

Hang in there!

My suggestion is that you change your habits a bit. You have a responsibility toward the family members and your obligations as a Catholic. My suggestion is that you do go to Church but that you keep your time before and after Mass to a minimum, then you make sure that when you are home you spend time with the family and you contribute to the family duties even if it requires for you to give up fun time. Talk to your family and make it clear that Mass is a non negotiable but that you are willing to sacrifice any spare time for the well being of the family.

Overwhelm your family with your presence, pretty soon the will get tired of you being around so much especially when they want their own private time. Talk a lot to them from behind the door when they are in the bathroom. :D:D:D

Go to an early morning Mass. Come home, do the dishes and fix breakfast or brunch for the rest of the family.

Or get up real early and do a bunch of chores around the house before you go to Mass. Make going to Mass a real benefit to your family.


Great idea!! I LIKE the way you think!


If you have your own transport and the issue is not that you are required to watch small children or an invalid, sick person who can’t be left alone, then you should consider what you do have control over.

Mass is very important - the most important thing. Your duty to your family is also important. Your desire for free time or that chance to sleep in, not so much.

So first you have to plan time to attend Mass. Is there an early Sunday morning Mass or evening Mass that would be less disruptive to family time? If you have to get up earlier to attend, that is what you need to do.

Then spend time with your family. Hanging with the extended family, doing necessary chores for your parents, helping out your granny, those are all excellent ways to celebrate the sabbath. As long as you also get to Mass.

If this means you can’t sleep until ten or miss out on your favorite TV shows, oh well. That is part of a normal sacrifice for the joy of being Catholic! :smiley:

Good topic for Moral Theology Forum


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