Reminding someone of Holy Day of Obligation


#1

Suppose a family member forgot it was a Holy Day of Obligation. They were working out of town long hours and very tired when they got back into town. Then someone reminded them it was a Holy Day of Obligation and they could still make it to Mass. The family member decided they didn't feel like going. The other person then told the family member it was "grave matter" and tried to encourage them again to go. But the family member again refused and told the person to "worry about their own self." Should the person just have kept their mouth shut, letting the family member forget it was a Holy Day? Is the family member possibly in mortal sin now because someone reminded them about it? Or did the person do the right thing by reminding the family member?


#2

Reminding someone about a Holy Day is a charitable thing to do.

What the person does after they have been reminded is their own business and responsibility. It is betwen them and their confessor.


#3

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:295397"]
Suppose a family member forgot it was a Holy Day of Obligation. They were working out of town long hours and very tired when they got back into town. Then someone reminded them it was a Holy Day of Obligation and they could still make it to Mass. The family member decided they didn't feel like going. The other person then told the family member it was "grave matter" and tried to encourage them again to go. But the family member again refused and told the person to "worry about their own self." Should the person just have kept their mouth shut, letting the family member forget it was a Holy Day? Is the family member possibly in mortal sin now because someone reminded them about it? Or did the person do the right thing by reminding the family member?

[/quote]

I guess it would depend on who the family member was and how good the relationship was and also on the typical attitude of the member who was out of town. If that person is lax in the faith, there really isn't any sense in beating a dead horse. It might be O.K. to remind them it is a holy day but only if you think the reminder would be well received. It is never a good idea to tell someone they will be commiting a mortal sin in a case like that. Threats usually make someone dig their heals in. Just pray for them and try to set a good example. Children living at home are a different matter, there may be more of a duty there.

:shrug:


#4

It is admirable to remind others of Holy Days. Actually, it is a familial obligation to share these things with them. That is what families do. We cannot force others to go to Mass, but we can encourage them and it sounds like that is what happened in this case. Once a person has been Confirmed he is responsible for his decisions regarding Mass attendance, but that does not mean others in the family should not try to encourage it.


#5

This type of attitude in the "tired" person is kind of looking for a reason to miss (or be excused somehow) from what they know they should be doing. That was probably me at one point or another.

I've seen some success in this area by perhaps mentioning that we will be going; then leave it alone. The conscious works on them the rest of the way. Lets face it... missing mass means missing time with the family; either your own or that of the community. Since we're all communal by nature, missing mass means missing out on not only a great gift, but also missing out on the liturgy.


#6

[quote="Sheadad, post:5, topic:295397"]
This type of attitude in the "tired" person is kind of looking for a reason to miss (or be excused somehow) from what they know they should be doing.

[/quote]

Maybe, or maybe not. One can genuinely be too tired to go to Mass. Note that Veronica wrote that this person was "**very **tired" (my emphasis).

Just as a mother exhausted from caring for an infant can be excused from Mass obligation, so a husband exhausted from (necessary) work can also be excused. We are not expected to damage our own health or work obligations for Mass. Obviously we must try to put aside the feeling of "I'm too tired" in general, but nevertheless there can be times when we really are "too tired". God did not gift us with a infinite supply of effort and energy, and we are responsible for caring for it.

For the person who is at home, and has remembered, I would recommend that more than **reminding **the person about the obligation that the do what they can **assist **the family member to get to Mass. This would depend on the roles of the two, eg. sister and sister, or parent and child, or wife and husband, etc. The more the obligation to remind them, the more the obligation to assist them (gently and tactfully). So, if you the family remember were running late, and it were within one's power, then have a snack or drink ready (the family member doesn't have to receive communion) and some sort of comforting words like "We can pick up a pizza on the way home from Mass (I'll order it now), and I'll help you sleep in tomorrow".

For the future, the first person could also show to the family member that his/her (the family member's) activities are important too, that the first person is willing to go the extra mile when they are tired. If this were a wife and husband, then I recall several saints who converted their husbands by always being the best wife they could. Substitute child/parent, sister/brother, as applicable.


#7

I had a similar question for the Priest the other day, and he answered that we shouldn't take responsibility for others, but go about our own business and let God take care of things.

I know I shouldn't contradict a Priest, and I didn't say anything to him, but I won't follow his advice. We're all part of the church, and we're all to spread the gospel (and the catechism derives from the gospel) and we should - imo - all try to help each other become better catholics so even criticism can't be wrong.


#8

[quote="Edmundus1581, post:6, topic:295397"]
Maybe, or maybe not. One can genuinely be too tired to go to Mass. **Note that Veronica wrote that this person was "very **tired" (my emphasis).

**Just as a mother exhausted from caring for an infant can be excused from Mass obligation, so a husband exhausted from (necessary) work can also be excused. **We are not expected to damage our own health or work obligations for Mass. Obviously we must try to put aside the feeling of "I'm too tired" in general, but nevertheless there can be times when we really are "too tired". God did not gift us with a infinite supply of effort and energy, and we are responsible for caring for it.

[/quote]

Part of this above is my reasoning from CCC 2181

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119

But, the main point, that exhaustion from necessary work can excuse one from Mass, was advice I received from two different priests when I was in the position of having a young family and demanding career. The advice was that the decision was up to me. ie. I didn't have to subsequently confess or justify my decision. I was free to decide in my own conscience that I was too tired, just as I can decide that I'm too sick.


#9

There is much said just by tone of voice. When someone comes home from a long day and having driven in from out of tiown, to be greeted by "Why aren't you going to Mass!" can be the last straw.

One the other hand, similar to Edmundus's advice, saying something like "I'm sure you must be exhausted, but I'm sure you also want to get to Mass." and then offering to drive them, would be a must better tact.

The real solution is planning things out in advance. Holy Days of Obligation don't get announced spontaneously and usually neither do business trips out of town. A bit of foresight and a tool like masstimes.org can help find a Mass along the route that might have been easier to get to.

All that said, it is not ours to judge if someone has committed a mortal sin. We can recognize grave matter, but cannot judge the other conditions. If the other person is an adult (as in this example), it is often counter-productive to start walking them through an examination of conscience on the spot. Simply remind them, offer to help them get there, and then drop the subject.


#10

I believe that what God thinks about missing mass due to fatigue is probably similar to what Mary said about praying the rosary: If you only do it in order to feel better about it, let it be. I also think that the comparison Jesus made with the Sabbath and us people might even be a template for other things, it's just that he couldn't get to those things. Had the same question been raised when He lived He maybe would have said something like "The mass was made for the people, not people for the mass" or something like that. I'm not trying to interprete scripture or anything. Just saying.


#11

[quote="Sheadad, post:5, topic:295397"]
This type of attitude in the "tired" person is kind of looking for a reason to miss (or be excused somehow) from what they know they should be doing. That was probably me at one point or another.
God sees what is in our hearts and thankfully judge us much kinder.... That person may have been really tired. Some people don't show it very well at all. A little bit of compassion may go further. Is God really going to stop them from entering Heaven because they really were too tired to go to just one service. If they had gone and crashed their car on the way home because they were too tired to drive properly or got themselves knocked down on the street because they were too tired to see the oncoming vehicle when all they needed was a sleep and be restored. We don't all work the same but we need to learn how to trust God when we are judging others. We need to stop judging others and let the opening poster listen to sound advice of the first post rather than trying to judge how tired a person is when they don't even know them :shrug::blush:

I've seen some success in this area by perhaps mentioning that we will be going; then leave it alone. The conscious works on them the rest of the way. Lets face it... missing mass means missing time with the family; either your own or that of the community. Since we're all communal by nature, missing mass means missing out on not only a great gift, but also missing out on the liturgy.

[/quote]


#12

Then why ask the priest if you not going to listen to him. I thought Catholics were taught obediency to the priest. :shrug:


#13

As a shift worker, I can testify to the fact that a person can need rest as a condition of health. This is a particular concern for me, because when I work nights on the weekends, I either work through the Mass, or the Mass falls in the middle of my "night." Instead of seeking my own opinion on this, I consultated my priest who simply dispensed of my obligation on those weekends.


#14

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