Missing Mass on Sunday is a Mortal Sin?

I’m sure this has been asked before…
I’m going camping with some friends next weekend, we leave Friday and won’t be coming back until Sunday night…there won’t be any churches nearby. Is it a mortal sin for me to miss mass over the weekend? Will I go to hell if I know it’s a mortal sin?

Has anyone else experienced this dilemna or conversed with a priest about it?

My aunt said she talked with her priest and the priest told her it was okay for her to go to mass on Wednesdays and it “counts” for Sunday mass, like she has some sort of exception. To my knowledge the only reason is to accommodate the fact she does not have a church nearby and Wednesday mass works with her work schedule. Has anyone else heard of this? Could this apply to my situation?

I attend mass regularly (including daily mass lately), and this troubles me

I may talk to a priest about this, but wanted to run it by you guys


If it is truly not possible to go to Mass because there is no church available, then you don’t have an obligation.

Many campsites ARE close enough to a church to go to Mass, but if you are going to be somewhere where that is not the case, then you don’t have an obligation.

If you are concerned about it, you can ask your pastor for a dispensation ahead of the trip.

Yes, I have traveled many times where the actual travel (plane arrival/departure) or location (Egypt) did not allow for Mass. I have also traveled many times when I have been able to find a Mass and a way to get there.

Your aunt is mistaken.

If she cannot go to Sunday mass, she has no obligation. If she is able to go to a Wednesday mass, that is wonderful, but unrelated to her attendance or non-attendance on Sunday. It certainly doesn’t “count” for Sunday.

Great answer, thanks!

It is pretty common to have priests give a dispensation from Mass on Sunday on condition that you go to Mass on another day (like Wednesday), or to give someone a penance assignment to go to Mass on another day after confessing missing Sunday Mass.

But that doesn’t mean that Wednesday counts for Sunday!

(Another similar case is that, if you should forget to abstain from meat on a Lenten Friday, priests often advise you to abstain on another day (like Saturday, that being the next chance!). But again, that doesn’t mean that Saturday counts for Friday.)

To be fair, your aunt may just be making a joke, and assuming that you get it as a joke. Heck, the priest may have made a joke and not been understood!

Either way, enjoy your camping trip. and don’t forget to pray out there!

Under your circumstances, the obligation to participate at Sunday Mass exists unless you get a dispensation from a priest…there is no law that says you must go camping…
We always planned our camping trips around the Mass schedule.

This is wholly inaccurate.

There is no law that says we must only go places within X distance of a mass. One is free to go wherever one chooses, and one need not base that on whether a church is nearby or not.

It is nice that you did so, but it is quite another thing to state that one is required to do so.

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