Is being late to church a sin? If so is it as severe as not going at all (mortal)?
I was about 10 minutes late to church because I was waiting on my dad and mom to get ready. I can drive so I could have left earlier and had them meet me there but I decided not to. Was that the wrong choice? and did I mortally sin?
I believe that, as long as you don’t miss the gospel, you will have fulfilled your mass requirement. However, what’s more important is not missing out on the opportunity to connect with God, because mass is a place where you go so that you can hear God’s voice speaking to your heart.
Even if you were running late, you can use that instance as an opportunity to start communing or talking with God, about wanting to be on time for mass, but not quite making it happen. God wants nothing more than fellowship or gettting to know you and you getting to know Him–that is why He created us.
If you feel that your parents are holding you up continually by making you late, then you might have to decide whether to go with or without them. While your parents are your parents, their lateness blocks you from fully participating in mass and may be distracting you from fully worshipping God. Only time will tell if you need to make that decision, but know that God is pleased with your concern over the importance of being on time for Him.
You were late because of a situation beyond your control. I grew up in a household where my mom thought it would only take here 5 minutes to get ready for Mass. Naturally we were always 5-10 minutes late. And even when I was old enough to drive, I felt it was important to go to Mass with my family even if that meant being a little late. It’s not like your intentionally arriving late so that you can watch the last few plays of a football game or something. So I wouldn’t worry about it.
I don’t believe there is a “late” to the Mass. Generally, I believe it is a matter of intent and as others have noted this was somewhat beyond your control. If you are concerned about it, you should discuss it with a priest.
I agree with you in this situation as asked by the OP, but I don’t think you can make a blanket statement like “being late for Mass is not a sin.” A lot of times I see people come to Mass 45 minutes into it, receive communion, and then leave. In my opinion, that isn’t fulfilling your Sunday obligation unless there are some outstanding circumstances (sick child, car died, etc.).
I guess it’s all a matter of degrees. If you arrive late and/or leave early just because you don’t feel like being there, then I think that is more than being disrespectful. It’s sinful behavior.
You seem to be confusing 2 issues.
Fulfilling the Sunday obligation has nothing to do with receiving Communion. They are separate things.
To receive Communion you must simply be in a state of grace and properly disposed to receive. You can arrive at Church and go directly into the Communion line, receive Communion and leave. That has nothing to do with fulfilling the Sunday obligation.
As for fulfilling the Sunday obligation the Church has no documents defining what that means in terms of when you arrive (or leave). The Church states you must participate in Mass. It does not specify what that means. People will argue you must arrive before Communion, or before the Homily or whatever but that is not what the Church says so nobody can say to anyone else if you don’t arrive before whatever time you have not fulfilled your obligation.
Thanks for the clarification. However, I’m still going to stick by my statement that there are times when arriving late to Mass is a sin. Because there is no documented cut-off point, it’s a matter of conscience. If I know that Mass starts at 9:30am and I sleep in, take my time getting ready, and then leave Mass early then I would hardly call that participating. Personally, I know the times when I make an earnest effort to get to Mass on time and I’m late for reasons outside my control. And I also know the times I’m not putting in much effort to make it on time and those are ones I will confess.