Missing Mass and illness


Hello, I read on here that it would not be sinful to miss Mass did to illness but others said different things. I read that if you’re too sick to go to work or school, you’re too sick for Mass. Someone else, however, said that if you go to these things while sick and don’t go to Mass, you’re in mortal sin. I found out today I had strep throat. Wednesday I wasn’t feeling that great but I went to a lab. I didn’t go to any other class or work that day. Thursday I didn’t go to my first class and I went to work cause I didn’t feel dreadfully terrible. And I went to half of my night class. Friday I went to one class, out to lunch with a friend and to work(for a short time). I came home for spring break last night and I felt awful. I went to the doc today and found out I had strep. Had I known before it was strep I would have stayed home. I thought I just had a very sore throat and a cough. I am going to try to go to Mass tomorrow, but if I don’t go, will it be mortally sinful? Given that I still have strep tomorrow, I mean. I took antibiotics today so I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Also, another question about missing Mass:
(Please keep in mind I live in Texas where snow and ice are rare for us). On Sunday it was icy on the roads. I went home from college for the weekend and on Sunday I sat around for a while despite my mom telling me I should get going. I didn’t have any Mass clothes with me so I couldn’t go to Mass at home. There was a late Mass at the university parish on campus, so I packed my stuff up and started to head back. Someone with campus Ministry posted that if we felt roads were too icy we would recieve a dispensation and we should pray for an hour(words from our pastor, delivered by someone else). I got about halfway back to school but the roads kept getting worse and worse. I decided after some deliberation to turn around and come back home. I did pray for an hour. However I felt extremely guilty because part of me didn’t feel like going to Mass and I felt I was making excuses not to go. I did try to get up there for Mass though, it just got to the point where I kept skidding. Was this a mortal sin?


If the roads are not safe to drive on and you are too far away to walk, then you’re fine.

If you have an infectious disease (like Strep), you would (in my opinion) be doing the wrong thing by going to Mass – you could infect others…and that wouldn’t be very charitable, would it? As far as not feeling well even if you’re not infectious, that would have to be a judgment call. I think you’re right with the call that if you feel good enough to go to school or work, you feel good enough for Mass (and vice versa).

But if you’re infectious, you should definitely, 100%, stay away. That would include strep throat, influenza, the bubonic plague, measles, or any other infectious condition. Think about the other people. Just watch Mass on EWTN (online if you don’t have it on your campus cable) and make a spiritual communion.


You are relieved of your obligation to attend Mass when you are sick. God knows that you are ill and you may join your fellow parishioners spiritually in prayer and scripture reading. Think of it this way - you are taking care of yourself - your body is a temple to our God and Creator - it needs rest and care when sick … AND … you are not infecting your fellow parishioners … obviously even if you felt you only had a slight cold you should refrain from partaking from the Cup and fro the Exchange of Peace out of consideration for others …

Roads that are a hazard are another issue … when ice, snow and other hazards exist - you have to be prudent … Our Lord does not expect you to risk your life [and the lives of others] in order to get to Mass when traveling is hazardous … My parish priests [every one for decades] have always stated that when hazardous winter conditions exist - the faithful should stay safe and engage in an hour of prayer - just as the priest on your campus advised …

That said … you should want to and desire in your heart to make attendance at Mass every Sunday and Holy day the anchor of your week - when the Mass is your hearts desire - you will have a life that is centered in Christ … Hopefully, that focus on our Lord will also give you great peace to know when you should stay home - for yourself and for others - on those few occasions of illness and winter roads …

Please be at peace - our Lord knows your desire to come join your family at Mass in His worship and service … :slight_smile:


Thanks for your replies. Normally I love going to Mass. Sometimes I don’t feel like going, but I always go. This past Sunday was one of those few instances I didn’t feel like going for some reason. My strep is subsiding so hopefully I can go tomorrow. If I do to I’ll refrain from shaking hands and receiving Our Lord from the chalice.


Please do not go to Mass with strep throat and infect innocent bystanders. You only started antibiotics today, therefore you are stil contagious.

If you have problems discerning what is a sin and what is not, you need some spiritual direction from your pastor.

Use common sense with regard to illness and driving in dangerous conditions.


If I am correct, if I have taken anti biotics, 24 hours after I should not be contagious. I took antibiotics around 2 today and don’t plan to go to Mass til 5pm tomorrow. Unless I feel terribly ill or if I still have a very bad cough I don’t see why I shouldn’t go to Mass as my strep won’t be contagious.




Please do not go to Mass and run the risk of infecting others like the very young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised because you are 27 hours into the course of antibiotic treatment. There is no absolute guarantee that 24 hours is the magic number for not being contagious with each and every person testing positive for strep. If you had been on the antibiotics for 48 hours and felt well, that would be a little different, but I wouldn’t want to take a chance with someone else’s health and well-being with only a 3 hour difference Most schools and employers prefer those with strep stay home at least 48 hours after starting an antibiotic, I know you want to go to Mass, but of pure charity. please avoid risking the health of others.


Not only do you not have an obligation to go to Mass when you are sick and so it is not a sin but in my personal opinion going to Mass when you are sick with something that is contagious might be sinful.


I did not know about this 48 hour rule of thumb. Thank you for telling me. I genuinely had no intention to go to Mass to infect others because I genuinely thought I would not be contagious by tomorrow at 5. My apologies.


strep throat is contagious and until you have been on antibiotics for 48 hours one is suppose to stay home. So if you have been just diagnosis and not yet on antibiotics 48 hours, you should not be attending Mass. If the weather is very bad (icy roads, blizzard, tornado etc), then it is obvious, you can’t attend Mass. It looks like you have been given confusing and conflicting advice on legitimate reasons one might miss Mass. The best person to check always with is the priest. I would speak to a priest and have some peace.


I hope you get to feeling better soon.


Thank you, I appreciate it.


Infection doesn’t clear in 24 hours, that’s why you take a course of antibiotics, not just one day’s worth! I’m an ex-nurse, by the way.

If you pass this infection on to older people at Mass, they could be affected much more seriously than you’ve been. Infections like this are spread very easily and you should stay home. :slight_smile:


If you are infectious you need to stay home. There are far too many elderly, young, and potentially chronically ill at Mass and they don’t need to catch anything. Strep can actually become very serious when untreated or when contracted by someone that is not very strong to begin with.


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