Need answer quick on holy day of obligation!

Hey all,

I’m posting this here because time is short and I need an answer. I’ll also post it in the Ask the Apologist room.

Tonight is my work Christmas party. Quick, short version–it’s a new job, pay is good, it’s very professional. All the field reps are in town and it would be a very good thing for me to spend time with them, as my job is to support them, in large part.

However, it may conflict with the only Mass time I can get to for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The party’s at six, the Mass is at 7:30. Travel time is half an hour, but this is D.C., so that’s up in the air.

My understanding is that Holy Days of Obligation may not be binding if you must work and there are no available times. I know I’m stretching it with this, but this IS an important work event that doesn’t happen very often.

Lest you think I’m just looking for an excuse to get out of Mass, I’ll say this–nothing sounds more odious to me than attending this party. I work with materialistic people with whom I have nothing in common. It’s a cliquey government job, and every day is a struggle to stay sane. I’d MUCH rather go to Mass.

So, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

By the way, the winky face was unintentional…

There is more than one Catholic Church in the DC area. Find one who has an afternoon mass.

You’ve probably missed a lot of noon Masses that will be offered because of this HDO. What would you do in mid day if you had to go to the dentist? This is an easy plan-ahead obligation.

My opinion is that you should go to Mass. You mentioned that it could be ok to miss a Holy Day if you have to work, and I dont know if that is true or not but you are talking about a party not to work. I realize the importance of you being present but if you look at it from my view you would be missing Mass to attend a party where people will be getting drunk, probably using the Lord’s name in vain and not telling what esle. You are not obligated to attend the party but you are obligated to attend Mass. For me it is a no brainer!

I hope it works out!

I agree with much of everyone’s posts. However, the noon Mass option was out because I have to rely on public transportation to get to work–no parking at the building w/o a huge fee. Taking the Metro to any of the churches with noon availability is at LEAST a two-hour affair due to the brilliance of Metro scheduling. That’s not a great idea at this job.

This party is more than your typical sacreligious booze-fest, though. All the field people are in town, and it would be an extremely good idea to get to know them. As it is, I have e-mail relationships with them, and it would make my job easier if I could put faces to their names, and vice versa. If I don’t show up tonight, it could seem like I’m snubbing them, or I don’t take my job seriously.

If this was Sunday Mass, I wouldn’t even be asking the question, but I thought there were circumstances (like work obligations) that could mitigate. This is definitely a work circumstance, and I’ll say it again–I don’t even want to go.

Thanks for your responses, though.

I think you’re off the hook, personally…

The easiest solution would have been for you to go to Mass last night to meet today’s obligation. I know that doesn’t help you out right now, but perhaps this will be helpful in the future.

As for this situation: I would go to masstimes.org and find all the local churches near your work, See if maybe someone is offering an early evening Mass that you can attend before the party,

If it comes down that there is no option, then you have a choice that only you can make. Here’s the relevant canon to guide you:

[quote=Code of Canon Law]Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body.

Can. 1248 §1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day.

§2 If it is impossible to assist at a eucharistic celebration, either because no sacred minister is available or for some other grave reason, the faithful are strongly recommended to take part in a liturgy of the Word, if there be such in the parish church or some other sacred place, which is celebrated in accordance with the provisions laid down by the diocesan Bishop; or to spend an appropriate time in prayer, whether personally or as a family or, as occasion presents, in a group of families.
[/quote]

Oh! One other thought! Perhaps the easiest solution!

Call your pastor NOW, and explain the situation to him. He might be able and willing to dispense you of the obligation!

If it were me, I would go to the party at 6, introduce myself to the people I needed to get to know, apologize that I would not be able to stay very long and set up appointments if possible to meet again at a more convenient time, then go to Mass. Even if you are a little late, at least you made the effort to go there.

You say that if this were Sunday Mass, you wouldn’t be asking the question. A Holy Day of Obligation is no different than a Sunday Mass regarding our responsibility.

[quote=montanaman]I agree with much of everyone’s posts. However, the noon Mass option was out because I have to rely on public transportation to get to work–no parking at the building w/o a huge fee. Taking the Metro to any of the churches with noon availability is at LEAST a two-hour affair due to the brilliance of Metro scheduling. That’s not a great idea at this job.

This party is more than your typical sacreligious booze-fest, though. All the field people are in town, and it would be an extremely good idea to get to know them. As it is, I have e-mail relationships with them, and it would make my job easier if I could put faces to their names, and vice versa. If I don’t show up tonight, it could seem like I’m snubbing them, or I don’t take my job seriously.

If this was Sunday Mass, I wouldn’t even be asking the question, but I thought there were circumstances (like work obligations) that could mitigate. This is definitely a work circumstance, and I’ll say it again–I don’t even want to go.

Thanks for your responses, though.
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Mass obligation v/s Work obligation.

Work obligation applies when others are relying on you for their safety or health. In other an example would be a doctor who has a patient in serious condition that he must see, he is excused from his Mass obligation to care for his patient if a delay could cause additional harm. In most cases the Mass obligation overtakes the work obligation. One must not volunteer to work but must be required because no one else can do the job and serious harm would come to others if it was not performed.

Yeah, I’m leaning in that direction, too. I work in a public affairs office, and I’ll be attending the party with my girlfriend. She’s a reporter for a paper none too easy on my governmental department. It COULD be somewhat uncomfortable even though she covers local metropolitan stuff. lol.

It’ll be tight, but I think I can do it. It’ll just be odd to be at a party and not have a beer or two…:wink:

Work obligation applies when others are relying on you for their safety or health. In other an example would be a doctor who has a patient in serious condition that he must see, he is excused from his Mass obligation to care for his patient if a delay could cause additional harm. In most cases the Mass obligation overtakes the work obligation. One must not volunteer to work but must be required because no one else can do the job and serious harm would come to others if it was not performed.

Well, people need to know who’s writing their press releases…

Yeah, I didn’t think that would be satisfactory either…

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