Missing Sunday Mass-Anxiety, Mental illness


Hi all,
There is someone I know with great anxiety when going to Mass with her husband, especially crowded Masses like Holy days, Easter, Christmas etc… She attends daily Mass with him often but when it’s a full Mass her anxiety/ mental stronghold of being around so many young women around her husband makes her avoid going with him on most Sundays. She’s literally had panic attacks and could not focus on the Mass. She also wishes she were out of “this internal prison” but after years of prayers AND therapy there has been no breakthrough. Is she in mortal sin for not attending with him on Sundays?
ps- i don’t know the details as to why so much anxiety to be around women with him but it has a lot to do with his past behavior that affected her. I think that’s a separate issue than this question however.


In my opinion, no, it’s not a sin for her to miss crowded Masses. She has a mental illness and we can miss Mass if we are ill.


If this is you, you should seek medical help. If not, just pray for them.


Not me but thank you, she’s always included in our prayers.


Why are you concerned a gravely ill person is in mortal si?. It really doesn’t seem to be your business. If she is concerned she should speak to a priest…and

the answers is No she is not in mortal sin.


was curious to see if I can be helpful in my next conversation with her.


Makes good sense then. Yes I would tell her to speak with her priest.


i have anxiety but never heard of anxiety as something being “gravely ill”. For example i have anxiety driving so i avoid driving.


I have been suffering from anxiety and depression, which prevents me from doing certain things. The solution is a proper diagnosis and if the doctor orders, medication. I’ve had panic attacks as well. The emotional “pain,” if you will, can be tough to handle.


Suggest they both sit down and talk to their pastor.


i understand completely, i’ve been there as well actually. Thank you and God bless you


short answer: no mortal sin there. Keep going to those weekday Masses and Eucharist.


You’re welcome, and God bless.


This is something for her to discuss with her pastor or confessor for moral guidance; and her physician for medical advice. She should not neglect or delay. I would guess that such severe anxiety would greatly reduce culpability for missing Sunday Mass.


The last time I almost went to the hospital with heightened anxiety, an emergency room doctor examined the pills I had brought with me. She put me on something new. It’s like having a physical illness but you “look fine” as one person said.


St Dymphna pray for us.


No, she’s not. She’s doing what she can to control this, it’s not her fault.


Why are you asking strangers on the internet?

She needs to talk about her anxiety and trouble attending mass with her pastor.


Earlier post explained why, I thought I could offer some encouragement at our next brief encounter. Why on earth is that wrong to try to help?!


She needs to talk to her pastor. People here can tell you it’s a sin or not a sin, and that doesn’t mean anything. If she’s worried about sin, worried about missing mass, has anxiety, she needs to tell her pastor— the only one who has actual pastoral care of her soul— and let him guide her. Let him give her a dispensation. Let him give her spiritual counsel.

No one here can do that. If you want to help her, encourage her to talk to her pastor.

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