Missing Mass a mortal sin?

I have been arguing with my sister about whether missing Mass is a sin or not. I dont think it is but she tells me the Church teaching is that it is a mortal. It think its rude not to go to Mass but i dont think its a mortal sin. Please confirm

Your sister is correct.

Yes it is a mortal sin (regarding Sundays or Holy Days of obligation). Unless – say one is sick or dispensed by ones Pastor --for that Sunday or Holy Day.

(if one has full knowledge and complete consent…so if one say honestly believed that the Holy Day is the next day…then it was an accident…and not sin. Though of course if one does not take the needed effort to find out…well then one is back in the sinful area)


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.


(grave sin = mortal sin = serious sin they are interchangable terms).

In my heart Ive always believed that it is not a sin and reading what u have just written is shocking to me and knowing that its a sin changes my perspective in what i thought was right. I really believed that may not going to Mass was rude but not a sin.

Your sister is correct.

If you have not been going to Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, go to confession.

It is grave matter. If the other conditions for mortal sin are present (full consent and full knowledge) then yes it is a mortal sin.

It’s important for all of us to remember that we don’t decide what is grave matter, God does (and communicates this through the Church).

When Protestants point to the missing-mass mortal sin connection as the Catholic Church being unbearably legalistic, I like to remind them of the consequences of taking one bite of one apple in a huge garden full of fruit trees. God makes the rules, and we cannot possibly make better ones.

Then you clearly did not have full knowledge, so you did not commit mortal sin. Confess anyway, since it was grave matter, and attempt to conform yourself to God’s will in the future. And thank your sister. :slight_smile:

Right now Im in shock and I have a lot of deep thinking to do. I have not been to Church for many years and consider myself a great sinner but I believe in God’s great mercy and I know my love for Him is real. I was afraid to ask the question, afraid that my sister was right but if the Church teaches it is a sin then I accept that this is the truth. I have many questions I know I have to ask and but Im afraid of the answers Im going to get. Thank you all for answering this question.

The fact that you accept the teaching of the Church as truth is 90% of the battle. The other 90% (!!) is hearing the answers to those other questions and knowing that you have to submit there too. Giving up one’s sins is hard, as we all know. Desiring to give them up, and working to give them up, you’ve already got one foot in heaven. :thumbsup:

(And living a Catholic life to the best of one’s abilities brings such JOY. The road to heaven truly is heaven).

God bless you in your journey to find the truth. Feel free to keep asking questions here on the message boards, that’s what they are for!

Don’t be afraid to find out more. It may be tough, but it is ALWAYS worth it to learn more. Just as working out is difficult at the time, the benefits received are worth it.

i dont know about thanking her lol. I wish I was still ignorant now that i know its makes it worst.

Knowing God’s will and aligning yourself with his will is always best. It’s also really hard, especially in the beginning. But there comes a time when you would never desire anything else. We are all called to become holy as our Father is holy. Good luck and God Bless!

One thing to keep in mind is that the requirement to attend Mass is not for God’s benefit. He’s not sitting there like some maiden aunt, upset because nobody came to her tea party.

It’s required because it is very much easier to stop living a life based on sin (and/or to avoid starting or returning to such a life) if you go to Mass. It’s not like He’s asking much–just one hour a week to join with your brothers and sisters to watch a miracle. One hour a week to connect with the Truth (God) and also truth–that God is all good, and all-loving, and worthy of worship.

Some people, I know, don’t need to be required to go to Mass. They’ll go anyway. But I know that when I was attending Protestant churches, I could make excuses for myself for missing church. By the end, I was mostly only going to church about once a month. I love Mass, and unlike when I was a child, I don’t find it boring any more because I understand it better. But still, I have no doubt, if Mass attendance weren’t required, laziness would win out sometimes. And once that starts, it can only snowball. I miss Mass once because I was up late and very tired in the morning. The next week, I’ve missed the grace of going for a week, and it takes less for me to stay at home.

So I’m really grateful that it is required. I can’t try to fool myself that it doesn’t matter much. I can’t make excuses. If I decide not to go to Mass, I have to know that I am deliberately deciding to commit a mortal sin. I haven’t missed Sunday Mass since I came back to the Church (except for illness, and once for weather).

You can do it, too. And the longer you do it, the easier it gets. :slight_smile:

God bless you!


(knowing you have the questions to ask … means your already in a position of being responsible to ask them…and to get things in order and find the truth and life --make an appointment with a Priest…)

In Jesus of Nazareth (and thus in his Church) is true life. He loves you and wants you to have this life!

Be not afraid!

"…the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth…

I repeat today what I said at the beginning of my Pontificate: “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation”…

Be completely convinced of this: Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great, but brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and women, and the salvation of the world." Pope Benedict XVI Aug 28 2005

Why not get yourself a copy of the US Adult Catechism? It might help you.


Go to confession and stop missing mass.

Problem solved.

Paul, we are all sinners and have all been in situations where we realize what we’ve done isn’t the best. But it’s great that you recognize the truth of the Church. You are welcome to ask your questions here at CAF, for there are bunches of knowledgeable people ready to help. I would reccommend reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, found online here.

God’s mercy is always available: His very nature is LOVE, after all. He dispenses his forgiveness most readily through the sacrament of Confession, through his visible representatives on Earth, His priests.

Actually ignorance is not bliss for a Catholic. If a Catholic does not learn the Church teachings through laziness or deliberate refusal to learn them such a Catholic is held accountable for sins of grave matter they committed even though they did not know they were sins at the time.

Hi Paul -
Know that God is calling you right now - powerfully. Do not half-*** your way through this moment in time. If you don’t have the habit of spending some time in prayer every day, right now would be a good time to start. Here is a quick daily meditation link that you can receive via email to get started:

There is something about your life that God wishes to work on and He won’t force you but will call you nonetheless. Do not continue to run - open your heart, abandon your fears and trust Him.

I have not been to Church for many years and consider myself a great sinner but I believe in God’s great mercy and I know my love for Him is real.

This is your past - some of it good, some not so good. God is calling you to a different future - and He will use all of it for good…follow Him.

I was afraid to ask the question, afraid that my sister was right but if the Church teaches it is a sin then I accept that this is the truth. I have many questions I know I have to ask and but Im afraid of the answers Im going to get. Thank you all for answering this question.

Be not afraid. Do your deep thinking, pray a lot asking God to reveal His will for you, get your butt to confession (it doesn’t matter if you remember the prayers, but bring plenty of tissues ; )) and go to Mass. As you approach to receive Holy Communion offer your life to Christ and ask for the grace to follow Him always. Welcome back…

Read your Catechism (or, if you don’t have one then get one). Missing Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation without a serious reason is indeed a Mortal Sin. There is no mystery about this. Go to confession and stop missing mass.

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