Missing mass while travelling?


and i don’t mean for vacation.

like for work conferences or sports tournaments and things like that, which may take up the whole days of saturday and sunday.

and not too often, like 3 or 4 times a year maybe.

would this still be considered mortal sin?

and there’s also the possibility of me gettin lost in a different city because of mmy visual impairment; i get lost enough already in my own city.


If you can go to Mass, go. If you can’t then you can’t. As the popular saying goes, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Make your best effort to go to Holy Mass, however. If through no fault of your own, you become unable to go to Mass, then you are in no sin whatsoever. Try your best to avoid situations that render you unable to attend Mass. The Mass is where Our Lord comes down to us and comes inside us! Who would want to miss such a miraculous event?


Most major cities will have a church or cathedral near the downtown area. Check for Catholic churches and their Mass times in the area you will be in and find a time that will fit into your schedule. You can take a cab (the driver will likely know where to go) if it is too far to walk or the weather is bad. You need to make an effort to get Mass on Sundays when you travel, if it falls through, then that’s the way it goes. :cool:


yeah, i usually do try, but you’re right, sometimes it falls through. i just hope God understands in those cases


If you believe you will not be able to go to Mass, then you will need to ask your pastor for a dispensation from Mass. He can grant this for you. In most situations such as conferences, you can go to Mass. I travel extensively for work and have gone to Mass in many cities, by bus, train, cab, rental car, and by foot. We must make the effort to put the Lord first. In cases where there are conflicts of schedule that truly make it difficult to attend Mass, a dispensation can be granted.


I love going to mass in other cities or towns. First time to china I missed because the church was being persecuted and their allegiance to Rome was questionable… Second time I went to one of only two Catholic Churches in Beijing. Once I went on a cruise and no catholic mass was available… I did not want to attend the Protestant service.

In the OP case, they may be able to catch a cab or if just not practical, maybe watch the mass on ewtn.


do you need to ask for the dispensation for each individual trip? or can you get one that covers specific situations what you know will happen somewhat regularly.


We have an obligation to participate at Mass - on all obligatory days [Sundays and Holy days of Obligation] … but I go because my life is centered around my faith and Mass is the anchor of my life … I hope you will search your heart and find that same truth

When I know I am traveling in the US - I go to masstimes.org/ and search out a parish to attend Mass …

I have traveled to Italy on a pilgrimage - Mass every day! . :Dto and to Mexico - many times [volunteer missions and personal vacations] and Guatemala [on this trip - a medical mission trip - I was the only Catholic and the travel arrangements were not within my control] and have managed to make it to every Mass … and found the experience wonderful … I purchased a Spanish Missal every time - … I spoke with my parish priest because i was really unsure about making Mass for the 2 Sundays I would be in Guatemala … he told me to take a missal from the parish and if I could not make it to a Church to use the missal and join spiritually with the Church at prayer - reading the parts of the Mass and the readings - so I was prepared but luckily made Mass - missing breakfast the first Sunday - but that was a small sacrifice :wink:

The last two summers - I have worked on an Inter-agency Fire Suppression Team - and have made it to Mass some of the time - but I missed one mass the first year do to scheduling and intensity of the work and two last year - one for the work schedule and intensity - one because there was no parish close enough to the incident command that I could get to with the time I had … I would have had to travel over 30 miles one-way from my location …

As I said - Mass is important to me … I have anxiety when I miss Mass - not because of the obligation - but due to missing that special encounter with Christ - the Eucharist and in fellowship with my faith community … missing the family meal :frowning:

One of the real blessings we have as 'Catholics" is being members of the universal church - we know that all over the world - our family is at prayer - encountering Christ … and even if you don;t understand the language being spoken - you understand the rhythm and beauty of the Mass … you can receive the same Christ … you can join your prayers with theirs … and how better to experience that reality then when traveling …:thumbsup:

Blessings and safe travels


You will need to speak to your pastor. He will guide you.


Well stated.


Last time I went on vacation a couple years ago we missed mass due to car trouble. When I confessed it, my priest said that you are dispensed across the board while traveling. Of course it’s good to try to go, but not required.


This is categorically untrue.


So Angell1 - did you make it to mass on Christmas? …

If so - did you find making the effort beneficial to your spiritual life?

If not - do you think that loss of communion with our Lord and “us” had an impact on you?

Just curious …

Wishing you a Blessed and Holy New Year :thumbsup:


Missing Mass is a mortal sin. You can receive a dispensation from a priest and be excused from mass. A dispensation would only cover one mass or maybe one trip where mass would be missed. I’ve received a dispensation one time. I was on a ferry traveling between Alaska and Washington, it was a 3 day boat ride and mass wasn’t offered on the boat. My priest had no problems offering me a dispensation.

To angels question, If your missing mass somewhat regularly you might want to reconsider whats keeping you from your obligation. Whats more important? Ultimately your pastor give’s the dispensation, not me. Ask him.


I would talk to your Priest about missing Mass because of a Sport Tournament. With Mass offered in most locations Saturday evening and Sunday morning plus Sunday night in some spots the Church gives us every opportunity to put Christ first.


ok, maybe it’s not somewhat regularly, i have to travel about 3 weekend a year.


i will talk to him when he gets back, he is currently away. just that sometimes, the games go until late saturday evening and start early sunday morning and we usually have to fly home sunday afternoon.


It is true that missing Mass without a reasonable excuse is a grave sin. However, weather (icy roads), or work requirements, among other situations, may cause you to miss Mass through no fault of your own.

Canon law states:

Canon 1247
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass;* they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God*, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body. [emphasis added]
Canon 1248
   1. 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.
   2. 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.

So: if possible, reserve or make time to attend Mass. If that is still impossible (you cannot leave the workshop or retreat for even an hour or two?), at least you can perhaps watch the Mass for Shut-ins on Television. If all else fails, you can be sure to reserve some private time for prayer, perhaps reflecting on the readings for the Mass–which are available on the internet, or in publications such as Magnificat, or even in a borrowed Missalette. You may even want to invite other members of the workshop to join you.


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