Sunday obligation


#1

We had snow and quite a bit of ice yesterday and I did not go to Mass. I live in a rural area, about three miles from the main road and there are a number of hills on the way, several of which are in the shade and have been icy in the past and I could not get up them. Did I commit a mortal sin?


#2

If you couldn’t get up the hills, how could you get to Mass?


#3

Hi Mary:

God does not hold us to the impossible, nor does he ask us to do something which is imprudent.

In your best judgment, with the desire to go to Mass if you physically could do so without endangering yourself or others (and yes, getting stuck on a hill, maybe having to walk and make yourself at risk for injury, or having to have other people risk THEMSELVES to help YOU, is endangering), if you made a prudent judgment that the risks to yourself and others were too great, then you certainly did not mean to sin, if sin indeed there was. I know that in my northern diocese, the bishop himself has reminded us that if there are severe weather conditions or if one is contagiously ill, one should NOT attempt to go to Mass. You can always check out what YOUR diocese says, too.

But when you go to confession before next week’s Mass, if you have any worries, tell the priest. He can reassure you; if either of you have any doubt of the situation, he can also absolve you if sin was involved. It’s a win-win situation.


#4

[quote=Tantum ergo]Hi Mary:

God does not hold us to the impossible, nor does he ask us to do something which is imprudent.

In your best judgment, with the desire to go to Mass if you physically could do so without endangering yourself or others (and yes, getting stuck on a hill, maybe having to walk and make yourself at risk for injury, or having to have other people risk THEMSELVES to help YOU, is endangering), if you made a prudent judgment that the risks to yourself and others were too great, then you certainly did not mean to sin, if sin indeed there was. I know that in my northern diocese, the bishop himself has reminded us that if there are severe weather conditions or if one is contagiously ill, one should NOT attempt to go to Mass. You can always check out what YOUR diocese says, too.

But when you go to confession before next week’s Mass, if you have any worries, tell the priest. He can reassure you; if either of you have any doubt of the situation, he can also absolve you if sin was involved. It’s a win-win situation.
[/quote]

Absolutely spot on! The Catholic Church has never made impossible demands of its members, Very often they do that for themselves! The Catholic catechism(A book I highly recommend) states (article 2181) that a " serious reason" takes away the obligation. This would include distance from church(with or without snow) sickness,caring for an infant or sick person. I do not think this matter for confession at all,and I have known more than one pastor who was less than patient when this type of case was presented to him!


#5

What others have said is correct. However, in the future, call your priest, explain the situation, and ask for a dispensation. He’ll give it to you over the phone.


#6

[quote=Sherlock]What others have said is correct. However, in the future, call your priest, explain the situation, and ask for a dispensation. He’ll give it to you over the phone.
[/quote]

I can’t imagine any priest I know in this North Country who would love to be answering the phone on this one. Common sense should prevail. Sometimes even the schools are closed when it snows and they lose money from the state when they close for the day. A simple test might be: In this situation if I were out of milk would I risk going to the store? If not…


#7

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