When is Mass obligation dispensed?


#1

Trying to see a bit here if it's just my conscience being overactive or if I'm actually sinning here! I live in the northern part of the U.S., which means winters are particularly cold and snowy. It's been especially bad of late; we seem to be getting several inches a day. I don't own a car and there is no public transit on Sundays. I normally walk to church, but I'm not sure I've been feeling up to it in this weather lately. The parish keeps telling me that they'll find someone that can give me a ride, but I haven't had anything.

I got up this morning not feeling well - fairly common for me in the mornings. I really did mean to go, but I didn't feel up to it when I got up. But I've been feeling bad about it all day for missing! Is this actually a sin, or is it something I should just let go?


#2

Talk to your pastor.


#3

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:313645"]
Talk to your pastor.

[/quote]

I'm probably not going to be able to do that for at least a week, if not longer.


#4

A bit of advice one wise priest once told me: if you aren't sure whether or not something was a mortal sin, you shouldn't consider it to be so :)


#5

[quote="DarkLight, post:3, topic:313645"]
I'm probably not going to be able to do that for at least a week, if not longer.

[/quote]

You mean you don't have a phone?


#6

[quote="thistle, post:5, topic:313645"]
You mean you don't have a phone?

[/quote]

I mean they don't answer theirs...


#7

God knows everyone's heart and situation so I don't think you are sinning in this instance. I think it only would be wrong if it was a sunny day, you had a car and you just didn't want to get out of bed because you wanted to sleep longer or something like that. But in your situation with bad weather, no car or public transportation and you not feeling well, I don't think God will hold that against you. ;)


#8

[quote="DarkLight, post:1, topic:313645"]
Trying to see a bit here if it's just my conscience being overactive or if I'm actually sinning here! I live in the northern part of the U.S., which means winters are particularly cold and snowy. It's been especially bad of late; we seem to be getting several inches a day. I don't own a car and there is no public transit on Sundays. I normally walk to church, but I'm not sure I've been feeling up to it in this weather lately. The parish keeps telling me that they'll find someone that can give me a ride, but I haven't had anything.

I got up this morning not feeling well - fairly common for me in the mornings. I really did mean to go, but I didn't feel up to it when I got up. But I've been feeling bad about it all day for missing! Is this actually a sin, or is it something I should just let go?

[/quote]

Not feeling well and to walk on those snow. I guess no, it is not a sin. It would really be commendable if you can manage to make it to the church but if you don't, I should not think you have to live with the guilt. However, as usual you can make up to it by saying prayer at home, not that it is a replacement for the mass.

God bless.


#9

[quote="NickD, post:4, topic:313645"]
A bit of advice one wise priest once told me: if you aren't sure whether or not something was a mortal sin, you shouldn't consider it to be so :)

[/quote]

Terrible advice!

One should always confess when one's conscience is bothered by something and ask guidance from the priest. One can confess venial sins.


#10

[quote="1ke, post:9, topic:313645"]
Terrible advice!

One should always confess when one's conscience is bothered by something and ask guidance from the priest. One can confess venial sins.

[/quote]

I don't think the priest has enough time for that! I'd have to be in confession every single day for like 6 different things.

This sort of thing has always been a big issue for me...I really don't think it was a good idea to go, but there's always some part of my brain that's never sure if I'm not just being lazy. After all, it was probably physically possible for me to go, even if I felt sick...I didn't know that I wasn't going to feel better in a few minutes and be totally fine to go. I always feel guilty every time I could possibly have done more than I did.


#11

Dark Light,

I recommend that you continue to try and call the parish. Whenever they do answer ask to speak to the priest on a spiritual matter. Then ask him if he can dispense you under those conditions. Or email him the question and ask him to call you.

If possible, arrange to go to a mid-day Mass that takes place when there is full daylight which will probably help you feel better physically and will be safer/more comfortable if you have to walk.

I will pray that you can arrange for a regular ride to Mass.


#12

[quote="Mrs_Sally, post:11, topic:313645"]
Dark Light,

I recommend that you continue to try and call the parish. Whenever they do answer ask to speak to the priest on a spiritual matter. Then ask him if he can dispense you under those conditions. Or email him the question and ask him to call you.

If possible, arrange to go to a mid-day Mass that takes place when there is full daylight which will probably help you feel better physically and will be safer/more comfortable if you have to walk.

I will pray that you can arrange for a regular ride to Mass.

[/quote]

In the future I'm going to go to the vigil Mass - our public transit runs 6 days a week - unless someone confirms that I have a ride beforehand. I have some issues with a knee that usually aren't too bad, but I'm a bit worried that trekking 2 miles through uncleared sidewalks could cause further injury. I suppose it's not even a grave obligation right now, since I'm not officially Catholic yet? I'm out of one of the hypervigilant have to do everything right protestant denominations, so I still tend to struggle if I feel like I could possibly have done something better.


#13

[quote="1ke, post:9, topic:313645"]
Terrible advice!

One should always confess when one's conscience is bothered by something and ask guidance from the priest. One can confess venial sins.

[/quote]

Where did I say anything about not confessing something, or not bringing something up in confession?

I shall attempt to better explain myself: what the good Father basically meant was, if you aren't sure something was a mortal sin, it can't have been, because you have to KNOW something is a mortal sin for it to be a mortal sin completely cutting you off from God's love. He continued to say that in a situation such as this, one, without the opportunity of confessing before hand, shouldn't withhold onesself from Holy Communion due to this, and at the soonest opportunity go to confession and (hopefully) receive counsel in regards to this matter.

Nowhere was the encouragement of not going to confession included.

I'm sure you'll jump all over this with assumptions, but here it is nonetheless


#14

I live in a snowy area too. Not only that it is mountainous and driving can be dicey. I live 7 miles from the town where the church is.

I tend to be over scrupulous about attending Mass in my own opinion.

Last weekend, it started snowing on Saturday. This is when I normally go to Mass. Saturday afternoon. I decided to go Sunday morning instead.

I got up Sunday morning and the roads looked bad. I live off the main roads so I had no idea what they were like. I checked cancellations and there were 135, all churches. I tried to think of someone to call on the main road but couldn’t. I didn’t see a single car on the road.

I live in a college town and they have an evening Mass for the college students. Even though I can’t see at night, I decided to go to that one since it’s close and not really dark in town like on the other roads.

I thought it might be cancelled though because the priest has to travel from the main church. I tried calling but no answer. I checked their FaceBook page. Nothing there.

So I went out and cleaned the car and warmed it up and headed out. The roads were really bad but I got there. The building was dark. I turned around and came home.

This is the last time I do that. I’m sorry but they have a FaceBook page and they could post important information like cancellations on there. Or even contact the TV station so it’s on their list.

If it’s snowing and the roads look bad where I live then they’re probably bad everywhere and I’m staying home and no, I won’t feel guilty about it now.

If I sound angry I am. I tried to keep my Sunday obligation. The least the church could have done was post a simple cancellation. They have more than one place to do so. I could have wrecked even driving just a couple miles. And then no Mass at all.

I’m working on the resentment. :slight_smile:


#15

[quote="DarkLight, post:12, topic:313645"]
In the future I'm going to go to the vigil Mass - our public transit runs 6 days a week - unless someone confirms that I have a ride beforehand. I have some issues with a knee that usually aren't too bad, but I'm a bit worried that trekking 2 miles through uncleared sidewalks could cause further injury. I suppose it's not even a grave obligation right now, since I'm not officially Catholic yet? I'm out of one of the hypervigilant have to do everything right protestant denominations, so I still tend to struggle if I feel like I could possibly have done something better.

[/quote]

Since you are not yet Catholic, you have no obligation. Of course you'll want to attend Mass as often as possible and get into a good habit, but there is no reason now why you should risk injury to get there. And even after you become Catholic, these same conditions can be a cause to dispense your obligations. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your pastor if possible.


#16

[quote="GoneAstray, post:14, topic:313645"]
I live in a snowy area too. ...I live in a college town and they have an evening Mass for the college students. ...If it's snowing and the roads look bad where I live then they're probably bad everywhere and I'm staying home and no, I won't feel guilty about it now.

[/quote]

I am very sorry for your harrowing experience. It sounds like you've made a reasonable decision about what is possible for you when the weather is bad.

The only thing I can say in defense of the college Mass is that they may have a rule that when XYZ parish is closed they are too, or when the college limits activities (code blue, liberal leave, etc.) they don't have Mass. However, as you say, a quick update to their website or facebook would have been very helpful to people like you.


#17

[quote="Mrs_Sally, post:16, topic:313645"]
I am very sorry for your harrowing experience. It sounds like you've made a reasonable decision about what is possible for you when the weather is bad.

The only thing I can say in defense of the college Mass is that they may have a rule that when XYZ parish is closed they are too, or when the college limits activities (code blue, liberal leave, etc.) they don't have Mass. However, as you say, a quick update to their website or facebook would have been very helpful to people like you.

[/quote]

The college kids could walk. I think it was more the priest having to drive out of town to the college.

But I realized this must sound completely OT to what the OP asked. And I did have a point, believe it or not. :)

I made the extra effort and look how it turned out. I wondered later if I was just being a little OCD about getting to Mass. However, I knew if I didn't make the effort to do something that was doable then I would have felt guilty. If I hadn't gone, I wouldn't had known the Mass didn't occur and I would have felt bad.

I'm not saying that the OP should question their decision. But that I understand why they would because I would too.


#18

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