Missing Mass on Holiday in Greece


I am new to this forum, and hope I am in the right area. I am in the process of planning a trip to Greece and fear I will be unable to get to a Catholic Mass.

I am having difficulty (despite using masstimes.org) in finding suitablel accomodation near a Catholic Church. I will also have zero help from my husband in this area, as he is increasingly resentful of my faith since I reverted about 4 years ago.

Can I fulfil my obligation by going to an Orthodox Mass? Is it a sin in this situation to miss Holy Mass?.

I would be grateful for any responses.

God Bless


I had a similar problem last summer. I asked my very holy and observant priest about it, and he said not to worry if I couldn’t do it. Which I couldn’t, as a practical matter. There was a Catholic Church around somewhere, but nobody really knew how to find it, and I didn’t speak the language anyway to figure it out.

You have an obligtion to attend Mass and to make a reasonable effort to attend Mass …

Reasonable effort even while traveling … that means you need to make inquiries … since you know before hand … now is the time to begin researching … when you arrive in country, ask for hlp and assistance there …

It seems reasonable if you have made every effort and are in fact unable to attend Mass some suitable time in prayer woulld be appropriate…

A year ago I traveled to Guatemala with a medical team… We were in travel status on the two Sundays I would be in the country. I was not in charge of the in country travel plans and I was the only Catholic on the team. While I speak some limited spanish, I was not confiident in the language nor was my status as the lone ‘catholic’ any comfort …

I discussed this with my parish priest…he instructed me to make a reasonable effort to find a Mass, if I was unable he instructed me to read the readings of that Sunday and spend time in prayer; joining my fellow parishioners and catholics around the world in spirit :slight_smile: … he even told me I could borrow a missal from the parish if I desired. [But I had already purchased a missal in spanish so I would be able to follow along and of course I had my Liturgy of the Hours to spend prayer time with:thumbsup: ].

I was actually able to make it to Mass both Sundays *. The second Sunday I actually attended the Saturday Vigil Mass and I obtained the chruch location and mass time info from a tourist information center … the Sunday mass times did not work out for our departure plans. The key was being prepared to inquire and have a back up plan :smiley:

Have fun on your travels and if you do not attend Mass and attend an Orthodox Liturgy instead, enjoy it but spend some prayer time in solidarity with your parish;) … You’ll be glad you did :thumbsup:*

I am almost certain that attending an Orthodox Mass in this situation would fulfill your Sunday obligation

If you cannot attend a Catholic Church, yes you can attend an Orthodox Church.

I would not limit my search for a Catholic Church to masstimes.org. When traveling in Europe I’ve found doing google searches on English Speaking Catholic Church and the country I am visiting has turned up good results. In addition, travel guides like Frommer’s and especially Michelin Guides have been pretty reliable in listing churches for various denominations. Go to a book store and start looking through guides and check the travel websites.

I personally never paid much attention to ecumenism but I do remember that Canon 844 was referred to as allowing in exceptional circumstances where a catholic church could not be physically able to be excused and allowed attend for Greek orthodox services.

Plus your lucky to be able to attend Greek orthodox church cause the CCC says:

"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”

I personally think you’ll be fine and if it really were impossible not to make it to a catholic church for you not to sweat it!

Almost is not good enough. One does not have an obligation if Mass is not reasonably within distance and ability.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.