Missing mass is a mortal sin?


I hear that willfully skipping mass on Sunday constitutes a mortal sin. The way I heard it explained was, since God is infinitely more important than anything else, ignoring him is infinitely wrong. I still thought it was a little harsh but I didn’t think too hard on it. Until recently, that is. The “infinitely good God” logic could apply to any sin, which smacks a little of Calvinism. Why is skipping Mass such a grievous sin? As opposed to murder, which directly impacts the life of another person, skipping mass affects no one but myself and God. i agree that it is very disrespectful, but it seems very overreactive of God to condemn a man to Hell for missing Mass on Sunday. I know many good Catholics who regularly skip mass without a second thought. i can’t believe that these essentially good people are condemned to Hell.

Thanks for the explanation.



“Why is skipping Mass such a grievous sin as opposed to murder, which directly impacts the life of another person? Skipping Mass affects no one but myself and God.” And---------------------------God? Since when are human persons more important than God?

There is an infinite difference between measuring God by our standards AND measuring ourselves by His!

We have to start with God when we look at everything. Since He came first, He COMES first. He is not just a bigger version of us. He has commanded us to “Keep holy the Lord’s day” and He has a right to demand this of us. Anything of value in our lives ( including human life) has value only because of His infinitely greater value.

But Mass is not just a matter of acknowledging His sovereignty, which is what worship is. It is being present at the foot of the cross and giving thanks for the passion and death that He endured for our benefit. He knows that talk of infinite anything remains an abstraction for us since we have no immediate experience of anything unlimited. He loves us so much that He underwent all that suffering to demonstrate His love for us in a way we could somewhat understand. To simply skip Mass is one of many ways of turning our backs on that love. I wish we all had big “God sensitive” buttons on us that we could push each day. But we don’t. So we need to keep reminding ourselves of how loving He is. The best way I know of is to daily ponder the crucifix and thank Him from the bottom of one’s heart.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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