Mortal Sin Question

I missed Mass today. We were on our way out the door when my mother called and said that she had locked her keys in her house. She lives a half hour away so we needed to get her the keys because it was my daughters first birthday party at her grandfather’s house. We planned on trying to get to Mass where my mother lives and then head to the birthday party. My mother called back and said my sister found a key to her house and we didn’t have to come. At this point it was well over a half an hour into mass in our town so we couldn’t go. There was an 11:00 Spanish Mass but that would make us late for the birthday party if we went to that. So I was unable to get to mass today. The question is did I fail my Sunday obligation and commit a mortal sin in this situation?

I can not tell such for you…but I would make an act of perfect contrition (out of love of God) and bring it to confession…(saying briefly what happened)

I suggest you mention it in confession. Being a half hour late to a birthday party is not a sufficient reason to miss mass, IMHO.

I would have been over an hour late for the party and the party was for our daughter. There were people coming who were depending on our scheduled time so being an hour late would have messed the whole thing up.

Not a sufficient reason to miss Mass, IMHO.

I’m sorry, that really doesn’t persuade me. The Church is clear regarding our obligation and what consitutes a valid reason for missing Mass. A birthday party isn’t among them, nor is other people having to wait on you.

Again, I suggest you take it to your priest in confession.

I’d say it’s “iffy.” You were on your way to Mass when the phone rang, so it’s not as if you deliberately decided beforehand to skip Mass – you fully intended to go, but then circumstances came along. Even so, I’d take the matter to confession, just to be on the safe side. Happy birthday to your daughter!

Lol, there doesn’t really seem to be anything “humble” about your opinion or bold face type. But, God Bless you my friend. I converted to the faith three years ago and this is only the 4th time I’ve missed Mass. It isn’t like I’m looking for silly excuses or that it isn’t a priority for me.

I guess I found a better answer than your condescending remarks i.e. using IMHO which is always a highfalutin condescending superior attitude. Stating that you are making a humble opinion before you state your opinion betrays any true act of humility. “I’m now going to serve you with my utmost humility dear lowly one.” A truly humble person doesn’t refer to their own humility before any action or word. One of the requirements for a sin to be a grave matter is full consent of the will. (Catholics United for the Faith, 2001) I certainly did not want to miss mass as it is the highlight and summit of my week.


Catholics United for the Faith, . (2001, January 26). Is missing sunday mass a mortal sin?. Retrieved from

Four times in three years?

I’ve only missed mass once in the past five years, and that was only because we were on a cruise with no priest and were at sea all day on Sunday – and I got a dispensation from my pastor as soon as I realized my mistake.

Life happens, I get it. But if you’re missing that often, you might check to see if there are safeguards you could put in place to protect the “highlight and summit” of your week.

Point is, mortal sin or not, missing Sunday mass is grave matter. In the link you posted, I found the link below. Talk with your priest about missing mass on Sunday and accept his counsel.

“The causes that might excuse from assisting at Sunday Mass are: physical impossibility which
applies to those who are unable to hear Mass because they are sick, or who have no priest to
say Mass for them; moral impossibility, when it would be very difficult to attend Mass, say
because of the absolute necessity of fulfilling other grave duties; and the practice of charity,
when Mass is sacrificed to remain at the bedside of the sick or give urgent assistance to
someone in great need.”

God bless you.


Whenever I see an IMHO of questionable humility, I always assume the “H” means “honest” :thumbsup:

I would go to Confession and tell your priest you missed Mass and why. Maybe he’ll say it’s a mortal sin, maybe not,.

Missing Mass on Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation is a Mortal Sin.
God comes first.
Please make arrangements to go to Confession asap, prior to receiving Holy Communion.

I don’t think 1ke was trying to be condescending at all. I don’t know him, but I have read many of his posts, and condescension isn’t a common thread in them. You DID ask for people’s opinions, right? I mean, had he omitted “IMHO”, would you have been OK with his thoughts? Almost seems like you were hoping for more validation that your actions were perfectly fine.

You’re right, full consent of the will is indeed a requirement for a sin to be mortal. You suggest you did not have full consent because you wanted to attend Mass, but you concede that you wanted more to attend a party and not inconvenience anyone. So in a very real sense, you did fully consent to choose one action (which was not grave matter) over another (which is grave matter). And this is what 1ke was referring to, I believe.

I’m not saying one way or another if this is a mortal sin on your part. I fully agree with others that confession is your best bet - then move on. But I would suggest that you take inventory of what is justifiably grave enough to miss Mass. A party for a loved one, and the convenience of others just doesn’t seem to measure up. Thanks for sharing this dilemma, and allowing us to weigh in. We do hope that we are truly helping.

God Bless,


Thank you for judging and questioning my dedication to the faith. I had to miss Mass twice due to illness (6yr old daughter had pneumonia, another time flu) but perhaps you are correct I should have drug her out and shoved her in the pew with a high fever and major breathing problems. The third time was due to weather (I live in Minnesota and it was a major blizzard).

This is still what I would advise :slight_smile:

Have a great week!

(PS in judging a choice that has already taken place … one must ask too what one judged at the time…one can not apply “reasons why it can have been excused not to go” so much after the fact…such needs to be present in ones judgment at the time…such as “I know that if I am sick I can miss Mass…I am sick so I think I will stay home” Or “I can not leave this sick child and I have no one to take care of him…so I know I just can not go” or “Oh my I am in the woods and I forgot it is Sunday…and it would be a 15 hour hike to get to the Church…well I know that therefore I do not have to go” or “Oh I do not think I will make it in time to such and such event…I can give my Pastor a call now and get a dispensation …so I do not have to miss the first part (and of course one calls and gets it)”

(now perhaps a person has made a judgment in that “I am sick and can stay home” but then later afterwards…fears they sinned…well that need to set aside that scruple and recall their judgment and the Church’s teaching" Or if a person got a dispensation and later thinks after the event…I should have still tried to get to Mass…one would do the same.)

(also as to the question of “consent” if one say has had some impure thought occur to them and does not give full consent…that is a more clear case of not giving full consent…in this question the fact that one decides to not go (for whatever reason) such would seem to be full consent to not going…in regards to not going to the Mass…for they could have done so and choose for whatever reason not to.)

In any case I still would give that little line of advice above…

Thank you Bookcat. Your advice is helpful. I appreciate your response very much.

Your welcome…

I would add though that there could be say …a very sick person …who really could not go to Mass…or a person in Prison…etc…who do “think they are sinning” but they simply cannot do what it is they think they should be doing…(they really want to go…they are prevented by the sickness and the prison walls) that I would think too can be a different story…

But this is just an aside in an attempt to round out my answers…

As to your case yesterday…I would still give the same advice as I did above.

Then move on …rejoicing in the joy of easter :slight_smile:

Missing mass is grave matter. It is fine for the people on CAF to judge your actions, you asked for a clear judgment when you started the post. Do not get on their case for replying to you, they were quite objective and I did not see anyone saying that you specifically committed mortal sin. What did you want form an internet forum? Absolution? You could have acted better, but that does not automatically mean that you committed mortal sin. Just remember that venial sins are bad too and that the sin of presumption (mortal) always lurks around venial sins.

My suggestion is to acknowledge that you could have done better, be contrite about it, and go to confession when it is possible. In the mean time give yourself a break, you cannot undo the past.

I didn’t say you were looking for a silly excuse.

You asked for opinions and I gave mine. I’m not sure why you asked if you only wanted ones that supported you not attending Mass.

This is an incorrect assumption. My use of *IMHO *is to emphasize that it is an *opinion *and not a statement of the Church, i.e. something coming from a church document. Which, incidentally, is why I recommended you take it to your confessor who will guide you.

This, again, is your opinion but neither my intention nor my mode of operation. Again, you asked and I gave my opinion on the matter that you did not have a sufficient reason to miss Mass. I have not changed that opinion.

IMHO is a common internet abbreviation. You are taking umbrage over imagined slights. Perhaps you are overly sensitive.

You fully consented when you chose not to go to the available Mass. Again, I suggest you go talk about it with your priest who will help you form your conscience on the matter better than some strangers on the internet can do, especially since you seem to not want to hear what we have to say.

Problem solved. I called my confessor today and explained to him the situation. He assured me that I was fine. I wanted to know if I could go receive communion or if I needed to make a confession on the matter. He told me I could receive and that I was ok given situation. I go to daily Mass and I needed to know as I’m out of town with my mother who is having surgery for lung cancer. The hospital has daily Mass and I’m grateful that I’ll be able to attend and receive and give my prayers to Jesus while my mom is in surgery.

Settled , done, move on.

I would just like to add that I would have gone late to the first Massif there was no way I was going to be able to go later. We are fortunate that we have many Masses all throughout the day and evening here .

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