Legitimate reasons to miss mass

What is the Church’s official policy on travel exemptions for mass attendance. My family and I are traveling out of state for a wedding on a Sunday at a Greek Orthodox Church, and there is disagreement among us as to whether there is a travel exemption allowed by the Church.
In other words, do we have to go to mass in addition to the wedding ceremony, and considering it being a day of travel?
Thank you,

The rules are vague on this, giving us only the term “grave cause” as a reason for not making to mass on Sunday.

What I would do?

If its only a cousin, friend or nephew getting married (sounds like that would probably be the case as they belong to a different faith), I’d skip the 3 hour Greek wedding celebration, and just go to the reception. Go on Sunday morning to mass.

Here is what I would do. I would show up at the wedding be seen and slip out un-detected. Yes you can slip out undetected. Most people will not even notice you leaving. I would then attend Mass if at all possible and offer up for the newly wed couple. I would also be seen at the wedding. If this is a Greek wedding party stay away fromt he substance called OUZO at the reception. Evidently greek people have an extra enzyme in thier body that allows them to drink lots of this stuff. However non-greeks get very intoxicated from it. (of course the enzyme thing is sarcasm.).

A Greek Orthodox Church is NOT a Catholic Church. While one may attend a Orthodox Divine Liturgy providing there is no Catholic Church close by. I would assume that if there is a Catholic Church in the same town, you would not want to miss out on a chance to celebrate Sunday Mass with your fellow Catholics. Besides being a obligation, I think it will add to the delight of your day. In the days of yesteryear travel might have been a easy way out of the obligation, but with the arrival of masstimes.org I don’t think that easy out is there anymore. When you can get on a computer and find a Church across country and what time they celebrate Mass in about 90 seconds, I don’t think that can be considered a burden.

Blessings from the Midwest

After reading the other post, I decided to throw my other two cents in. As long as you go to Mass, what you decide about the divine liturgy, is up to you. But, you wouldn’t be here if you did not have some interest in apologetics. What better way to understand the Greek Orthodox and the Eastern Rite Catholics in communion with Rome then to attend their Liturgy. Myself I would opt for the Early Mass they usually last around 45 minutes, take the family out to breakfast, then head off to the Orthodox Wedding, I’m am actually excited for you and a little envious. I hope you decide to do both.
Blessings from the Midwest

Can you go to a Saturday evening Mass somewhere along the way?

I would not miss the Big Fat Greek Wedding, it is a deeply moving experience, the liturgy is simply beautiful and a wonderful sign of the sacrament of marriage.

that being said, it is very rare in this country to be unable to attend a Sunday or Saturday evening Mass while travelling. masstimes.com is a great help in finding a town on your route where you can find a Mass as you travel.

there is no such thing as an “automatic travel dispensation”. If your travel truly will make it impossible, such as an international airline flight, wilderness backpacking trip etc., you simply ask your priest for a dispensation beforehand.

the Sunday Divine Liturgy at an Orthodox church would not fill your Sunday obligation unless there actually was no Catholic church in the area, such as in a country that is predominantly Orthodox.

definitely skip the ouzo unless you are of Greek extraction or have been in training.

Yes I agree with chicago find a saturday mass along the way. When traveling by car in our state this is what we do. I really enjoy it. It gives you a chance to get out of the car and stretch so to speak and you get to go to MASS!! Even the ingtrigue of going to an unfamiliar parish is fun. I have been wowed a few times by going to some unknown Catholic church in an area I am passing through…but sadly most of the time I witness some things that make me want to go outside and double check the sign to see if I mistakenly walked into a protestant church.

Actually, it wouldn’t fill the obligation even then. If a Catholic is in a region without Catholic churches, there is no obligation to fulfill.

Considering your Greek Orthodox church will probably be more “Catholic” than plenty of allegedly Catholic (really Protestant) churches, I wouldn’t be so hesitant about showing up. While it’s true that you don’t need to obsess over issues of “obligation” in this instance, the Greek Orthodox are - in many areas - more Catholic than what passes for Catholic.

In a word …absolutely. Short of being on your death bed, there aren’t too many excuses for missing Mass.

Depends on your definition of “too many”, which is a pretty flexible term.

Of course if you’re sick, or the roads are impassable , or your car breaks down, or if you’re too far away, or you’re needed at home to care for a sick parent or child, or you must work to support your family, or you have a household emergency that needs your attention or you stop to help someone on the road “Good Samaritan”-style.

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