Missing Mass because of vacation


My wife and I are going on a little vacation/getaway this weekend. Is is in a secluded location and not near a Catholic Church. If I am able to go to daily Mass today, can that fill my Sunday obligation for this coming Sunday? Is this an acceptable reason for missing Mass?



That is something you must discuss with your priest, who is the only one able to dispense you from attending Mass. I am sure there is a Catholic Church somewhere you can attend within driving distance-- or you can plan to be back before the evening mass on Sunday.

Personally, no, I don’t believe this satisfies the conditions for the obligation to be dispensed.


Have you checked masstimes.org?


You should ask a Father for a dispensation( I hope that is the right word for it) before going on your trip. Have good trip.





Yes. When a person is traveling and, for just reason, is unable to attend Mass, he is dispensed from the Sunday obligation and does not commit sin by not going to Mass. Just reason can include unfamiliarity with one’s location and a fear of becoming lost.


If you are travelling in an area where Mass is not available, you are dispensed from the Sunday obligation. This holds true whether you are camping in a remote area of North America, traveling in Saudi Arabia, or exploring Antarctica. :wink: (It also holds true, by the way, if you live in an area where Mass in unavailable.) If on a given Sunday you find yourself somewhere where there is no Mass available, you are dispensed from the Sunday obligation.

That said, you may be pleasantly surprised where you will sometimes find chapels that offer Mass. If you wish to be sure that Mass is unavailable where you plan to travel, call the diocese where the campground is located. If there are no chapels nearby, or if getting to a chapel is unreasonably difficult given your traveling conditions, you are dispensed from the Sunday obligation and can enjoy your vacation without undue scruples.

See the above links to the Ask an Apologist forum


This is what the catechism says about Sunday obligation:

The Sunday obligation

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

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. **

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."120


Somehow I don’t think Mass today “counts” for this Sunday. You can’t “bank” masses for times when you “can’t” get there. We went on vacation in Nova Scotia, camping I might add, and found a church where I could go to mass.Like a previous poster said, try www.masstimes.org. Churches are everywhere. If you can drive for vacation, you can drive for God.


Some of the most interesting times I’ve had on trips have been checking out interesting new churches to attend Mass at!

If it’s not too completely out of your way you really should go.


My guardian angel and I got into a little bit of an argument over this very topic the other day. You see, my vacation will take me to the Bible Belt where the nearest churches include a mission parish ten miles away where the answering machine message is so outdated that the Mass times offered are for this past Easter which makes me wonder if a priest will actually show up at all, and another parish about twenty miles away where the Masses offered correspond exactly with dinnertime and breakfast time, and the dinnertime Mass would mean travelling two extra hours on top of already being on the road six hours and then having to backtrack.

So I scolded my angel, saying, “What are you thinking? I put you in charge of my vacation, and you lead me to a place where it’s real hard to get to Mass?”

I finally gave in to choosing the logical idea of going to the dinnertime Mass 20 miles away on Saturday night, just in case there was no priest on Sunday. And then I thought to myself how I would spend Sunday morning free of obligation … That’s when my angel seemed to indicate that he wants me to drive down to that little mission parish Sunday morning anyways!

It’s going to turn out wonderfully, and whatever else happens on vacation will be an added bonus. :slight_smile:

~~ the phoenix


Every vacation we’ve been on, I’ve just googled "Catholic Church in (City name), (State name), and been given options. From there, I just pick the one with the best looking exterior and/or most up-to-date website (I know, discernment is something I pray for every day :wink: ), and off we go.

It’s been a highlight of every vacation, to be able to attend Mass in so many places.


Our family plans vacations around Mass attendance. Mass is our priority; we plan our locations on trips based up being near a Church on Sunday. I think anyone can do so, though it often takes a bit of creativity. Our Lord is worth it, isn’t he?


What if a Catholic wants to climb Mount Everest? What if a Catholic wants to bike across northern China? What if a Catholic wants to sail to the pacific islands? Catholic astronauts?


Those, my dear friend, would be occasions where it would be almost or actually impossible, rather than simply inconvenient, to attend Mass. If it’s impossible there’s no obligation - God doesn’t expect the impossible and probably makes allowances for the near-impossible.

If it’s simply a tad difficult to fulfil your obligations - doesn’t excuse you. There’s a lot of other things about being a sincere Christian that are difficult, and that’s another sacrifice you can offer up.

If my parents can make a 3-hour round trip (excluding the actual time taken for Mass) every Sunday because they HAVE to, then people vacationing on a Sunday can give at least the same amount of time to Our Lord.


Sigh. My husband, who is not Catholic, absolutely does not want me to attend Mass while on vacation. He says that he doesn’t complain about me going to Mass every Sunday when we are at home, so surely I can give him one or two Sundays a year when we are out of town.

I have tried to explain to him that it is a mortal sin for me to miss Mass just because we are on vacation, but he doesn’t want to hear that. The end result is that we argue and I end up not going to Mass.:frowning:


We’re not allowed to. Pope says so. :rolleyes: No Catholics on Mt. Everest.


He can’t just sleep in at the hotel? Heck, you could find a 7AM Mass and be back before he’s even opened his eyes! :thumbsup:


Visiting the local churches is part of vacation for us! We figure out where we’ll be on Sunday… and just look up the closest Catholic Church… part of our normal Sunday routine!

It’s fun seeing other communities and parishes… they’re always so welcoming no matter where we go!


You haven’t said where your vacation is. Are you going to be out in a cabin in the woods? you said a secluded location. Just how secluded is it?

I remember one summer my family went to Ceder Point which is a small island off of Sanduski Ohio filled with tones of totally cool rolercoasters. We were there on a sunday and lo and behold, there was a priest who would come to the island to say mass! There were probably only ten or so families that went, but by George, we were one of them. My mom and dad walked miles (leterally) sometimes to get to mass. We didn’t have a car for most of my life and difficulty getting to mass was a regular part of life.

I hope you find a church you can go to. I think it’s neat to see other churches. Also, remember that it’s not just about meeting the bare minimum requirements. Sure you could get a dispinsation. But why not rise to the challange and try and find a way to church? Just think of what it would add to your vacation to have Jesus with you!

However if you are in a cabin in the woods and the nearest church is like 100 miles away, maybe rise early and say a rosery :slight_smile: Don’t leave God out of your vacation.

I don’t want to hijack the thread, but did the pope really say that? and why?


Cari is being sarcastic in reply to cynic’s cynical comments. The Pope did not say that and of course Catholics can climb Mount Everest.


Others have provided the answer, but I’d like to have a little comment about it.

It is important to take vacation -everyone needs it - but do not take mass out of your vacation. Mass is just too precious to miss especially the Sunday holy mass.

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