Missing Mass because of hobbies

I belong to a Civil War reenactment group. All events are held on the weekend and once you arrive in camp you are there for the entire weekend. You may not leave and come back. At some events, a priest does come into camp to say Mass, but not so at others. The question is: can I attend an event when I know I’ll have no chance to hear Mass?

When you are at war, man, you are not required to attend church. You need to fight to keep the Union intact!:thumbsup:

You could always ask your priest for a dispensation.

Your choices would be to talk to the organizers and arrange mass on site ahead of time, participate one day and leave in time to go to Mass, inform the organizers you need to attend Mass and ask them to give you leeway to do so and return (and stay the weekend if they cooperate), ask your pastor for a dispensation, or not attend that particular reenactment.

No a hobby such as this is not a serious reason to miss mass, Mass is available, and your obligation remains unless your pastor dispenses you.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
It’s a mortal sin to freely, in full knowledge and deliberately miss Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) mass. It’s an obligation of catholics under pain of mortal sin under those

I would tell some of the organisers -even email a few, and say’ ‘I am a catholic and must have mass on Saturday evening or on Sunday, can this please be organised at the events,
Or else I will have to head to attend my mass and return.’

I believe its a matter of setting your priorities correctly. Hobbies are not a justifiable excuse for missing Mass. Talk to your priest about your problem.

You would not be excused. Can you get together with the other Catholics in the groups and try and make arrangements for Mass on your own?

Very good and pertinent advice. :thumbsup:

My biggest “hobby” is cycling, and a few years ago I participated in a two-day charity ride from Montreal to Quebec City. It would have been extremely difficult to attend Mass given the distance to ride, logistics, etc. I simply asked my spiritual director for a dispensation which he freely gave, given it was for a good cause (raising money for cancer research).

It’s a real problem though, these days, that some folks schedule so many activities on a Sunday morning as if it’s just another weekend day like Saturday. We’re in the minority now I’m afraid.

You have this all wrong. You’re supposed to plan your week around Sunday Mass, not plan your Mass around your hobbies or work. A Civil War re-enactment, if it’s not a means towards your livelihood, is not serious enough reason to miss Mass. You are morally obligated to miss the re-enactment instead.

To be perfectly frank, I do not see how your missing Mass in this case is anything but sinful. If it’s sufficiently seldom, as Ora said, a dispensation may be asked of your pastor. But this can in no way be habitual.


I also find it odd that you CANNOT leave for a couple hours Saturday night or Sunday night for mass. (Surely you could catch a Sunday evening mass somewhere?)

I think either I did not explain the situation properly or some of you truly enjoy jumping down other people’s throats. (porthos11)

So, let’s try again. And thanks to those who suggested asking for a dispensation. I never thought of that. (Oralabora, 1ke and others)

I am aware that if you are in a situation, such as work or perhaps in an area where there is no church, that you are excused ) This, the reenactment, seems to be the later. You’re in a field, a great distance from where you had to park, no transportation other than your feet, and usually MILES from town.Leaving amp is not an option. Even locating a church would be difficult for a Sunday night Mass and not every Church celebrates one. ( mine doesn’t)

The one time I did arrainge for a Mass in camp, I couldn’t attend:shrug: be:shrug:cause of the di:shrug:stance from our camp that it was celebrated!

So the question I should have asked was : Must I choose not to go to an event that does not offer an opportunity to hear Mass? If so, that is no problem.

At some point conscience sets in. There’s no rule for instance, that says you may not vacation in a place that doesn’t have Mass available, from time to time.

If one’s conscience is bothered about it, then a dispensation is the best bet.

Sorry for the harshness

Thank you.

You are making some serious leaps of logic. Parking and walking a great distance, you’ve just described Disney World and any number of vacation venues. You are not excused from Mass because you parked your car and walked into I a reenactment camp. You have a car. It is not impossible to go to Mass. You CAN leave the field, you are choosing not to. And, it is very easy to find churches and mass times with the internet and a telephone.

What you need to do is talk to your pastor, we cannot answer the question for you. Your pastor has such authority over you, we do not.

This is true, but as I read the OP mass is available.

First of all, check with your pastor and explain the situation to him.

Secondly, I do reenactments as well ( 16th Century Spanish colonial). Around here, that means ‘time line’ events and the occasional trip to St. Augustine, FL

I understand what you are talking about, but out of the ones that I go to, I have never heard any rule about not being permitted to leave camp.

Yes, it’s a hike out the parking lot, and you generally have to find a very early AM Mass, so that’s less time around the fire with the gang.

And yes, it often means going to a public Mass in costume, or changing in your car.

But it is certainly doable.

As for finding a Mass, check out masstimes.org/ you can put in the zip of where you will be, and find what parishes have Mass times near (or sorta near) where you will be.

If there are not any reasonable opportunities, discuss with your pastor. He can give you more canonically authentic advice than any of us can here.

God Bless, and maybe I’ll me you around the fire some day :slight_smile:

As you are not familar with reenactments, I will chaulk up your responses to plain ignorance. Sorry to be blunt, but at the vast majority of the events that I attend, the large regional or national ones, the parking lots are at the end of the field and no one is allowed to drive through the camps once the events begin.If that is not the case, the lots are 1-2 miles away. Without a vehicle, I have no way out of camp until the event concludes. As to Disney World comment, when I went there this summer, I had to rent one of those scooters to get around. There was no way that I could physically walk that far in the park. Somehow, that would not be available to me at a reenactment. So I’m back to the original question: If I can’t get to Mass because of lack of transportation, can I miss Mass and how much emphasis do I place on the fact that I placed myself in the situation. Some with a kinder ability to see a legitimate question and problem offered the solution of asking our pastor for dispensation.

As far as the ban on driving, just for my own education, what happens in an emergency? Like in the middle of the weekend you hear a family member was killed or your house burned down?

Surely you could leave if needed right??

I know nothing of the logistics, but just can’t imagine a scenario where I was banned from driving my vehicle.

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