Now, you see, I on a regular basis serve at the altar at a small campus ministry at a secular school in Southern California. Now usually, Fr. J, S.J. would be celebrating the Mass - but his superiors sent him abroad for a week to lead a retreat (which he obeyed; we’re talking about Jesuits here). Now he had told us that Fr. A., from a nearby parish in the diocese, would celebrate the one Mass this Sunday at 6:30PM (because most of the college students are out of town on spring break). So I and the other servers go to the Church, ready to assist at Mass, and 6:30 comes, but Fr. A is not there. 7:00, still not there. We try calling Fr. A’s cellphone, no answer. Finally, at 7:45ish, Fr. A tells us that Fr. J. told him he did not have to say Mass because it had been canceled to low attendance, and that he was about to administer Last Rites to someone. (One of the other altar servers, out of earshot, here comments that he personally witnessed Fr. J. tell Fr. A that he needed his help to celebrate Mass when he was giving the retreat abroad). We told the parishioners, who had just finished saying the Rosary waiting for Fr. A., that Mass was canceled. There were no other nearby parishes that would have been offering Mass at this time.
First question: I’m OK obligation-wise, no? I could not have anticipated Fr. would be unable to celebrate Mass, though if I had known he would not have, I would have gone to an earlier Mass than the one I usually serve.
Second question (assuming that I’m OK obligation wise). After we closed up, one of the fellow altar servers’ sister began to cry, like she had committed some horrible sin by missing Mass through no fault of her own. I have a feeling she might be scrupulous. What advice should I give my fellow altar server?