Why is missing one mass a mortal sin?


#1

How can missing mass one time or a couple times be a mortal sin? It’s not like murder or doing something immoral. If that is the case then millions of Catholics could be headed to hell. Because I know quite a few that seldom go. Please explain this.


#2

First of all, this is what does the Catholic Church says about it:

“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. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”

[RIGHT]—Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181[/RIGHT]

My thoughts:

It’s built into our nature to worship God. In worshipping God, we’re fed. God is our food.

God has given us Sunday Mass so that we may be nourished by Him.

Therefore, if we knowingly and deliberately choose to miss Mass without a serious reason, then not only do we choose to spiritually starve to death, but we choose to disobey God, seriously.


#3

I don’t think it is any more. It use to be but since Vatican II, the powers that be, changed it.

What they want now is … well, they don’t want to regulate it, they want it to come from the depths of your soul.

That’s what I remember but I can’t give it to you in writing. If anyone should happen to see a Priest, please ask.


#4

A friend of mine whose daughter is in second grade and preparing for her First Reconciliation told me her daughter was taught (in her parochial school) it was a mortal sin. So, they’re still teaching it that way in relation to the third commandment.


#5

Missing mass is not a mortal sin unless all the conditions for mortal sin are present. Is it a grave matter? Yes, objectively, see the citation above. We are commanded to worship God by the 3rd commandment, we are commanded to participate in the Eucharist by Jesus Christ. It is the source and summit of all Christian life. Does the person know it is wrong? Yes, you do now. Previously you may not have been properly instructed. You naturally do not rely on strangers on a forum for your spiritual direction, so consult the experts on CA home page, the Catchism, the gospels, and of course your own confessor. Is the action or omission committed willingly and deliberately with intent and full freedom to act, without a compelling reason. Your own good judgement and conscience can decide what is a good reason to miss Mass–illness, care of child, elderly or ill person, act of charity for someone, mandatory work etc. Naturally if there is a reasonable possibility of attending Mass at another time and place that weekend you seek it out. Is missing Mass is a deliberate choice especially for reasons that flout the reasons for attending Mass: I don’t want to be around “those people”, I don’t need to to worship as the Church tells me to, I can worship my own way (or not), I do not choose to worship God at this time ordained for His worship, I habitually disregard Church teaching on this and other subjects, I am spiritually lazy (sin of sloth) etc.

If those 3 conditions are present it is a mortal sin. The more it becomes a habit the greater the weight of the sin and the more damaging to the soul, and the less likely it is the person will seek healing in confession and the other sacraments.


#6

[quote=gladtobe]How can missing mass one time or a couple times be a mortal sin? It’s not like murder or doing something immoral. If that is the case then millions of Catholics could be headed to hell. Because I know quite a few that seldom go. Please explain this.
[/quote]

Missing Mass is something immoral. It is, for one, refusal to obey the Christian meaning of the Third Commandment. Christ’s resurrection glorified Sunday. The Christian Sabbath is therefore kept holy only by following Christ’s command to “do this in memory of me.” When the Mass is celebrated, and the Eucharist is consecrated, Our Risen Lord becomes physically present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He invites us to share in Communion with Him and His Church. How could turning down such an invitation not be sinful?


#7

And on top of all this fine discussion, I’ll add we don’t make the rules, God does. We can obey…or not. The CCC and Bible are excellent guides as to what God’s Word says about this.


#8

Not to be picky but missing Mass on Sunday, purposely and without a good reason, is technically not mainly a violation of the third commandment. It is a violation of the precept of the Church regarding Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation.

The Church precepts are rules and, as Catholics, if we violate them we commit sin. They are all grounded in Scripture and Tradition. They are important elements of Catholicsm.


#9

[quote=kmktexas]Not to be picky but missing Mass on Sunday, purposely and without a good reason, is technically not mainly a violation of the third commandment. It is a violation of the precept of the Church regarding Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation.

The Church precepts are rules and, as Catholics, if we violate them we commit sin. They are all grounded in Scripture and Tradition. They are important elements of Catholicsm.
[/quote]

This is exactly the type of conversation that I got involved with here at work with my Protestant friends. They basically told me that Holy days of obligation were Catholic dogma and that they “went to church because they wanted to, not because they had to…”


#10

Hi Glad__,

**Ex 31:15

**"You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; every one who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. "

As you can see it is a “mortal” sin not to observe the Sabbath. Its violation brings “death.”

The Church has determined that attending Mass is the way for us to keep the Sabbath holy.

Robert


#11

[quote=John Joseph]This is exactly the type of conversation that I got involved with here at work with my Protestant friends. They basically told me that Holy days of obligation were Catholic dogma and that they “went to church because they wanted to, not because they had to…”
[/quote]

The deacon at my parish likes the call them Holy Days of Opportunity.


#12

[quote=John Joseph]This is exactly the type of conversation that I got involved with here at work with my Protestant friends. They basically told me that Holy days of obligation were Catholic dogma and that they “went to church because they wanted to, not because they had to…”
[/quote]

Essentially, they are right. That is why it isn’t a mortal sin for a non-Catholic to miss MASS on Sunday. They are still bound by the Commandment but are not bound, as Catholics are, by the precept of the Church. Remember that Jesus gave Peter the power to bind and loose. The Church has the God-given authority to make rules for her children.

Congratulate your friends on going to Church “because they want to” and then invite them to a nice Mass. :smiley:


#13

I read that the Council of Trent made a policy of automatic excommunication if you don’t go to Mass at least once a year. I don’t have a reference for this. Is it accurate? Is it still in force?


#14

I don’t think so. I know of people who seldom went. I’m talking once a year or once every five years. They were never excommunicated.


#15

I wanted to add, that a whole lot of people are Catholics via baptism when they were infants and they attended Catholic schools. So through their adult years they never become a member of such a such church, but just attend ANY Catholic church when they feel the need. Because they’re already Catholic, they don’t feel the need to become a member.


#16

[quote=Maranatha]I read that the Council of Trent made a policy of automatic excommunication if you don’t go to Mass at least once a year. I don’t have a reference for this. Is it accurate? Is it still in force?
[/quote]

The revised 1983 Code of Canon Law would have replaced any disciplinary canons from the Council of Trent. I have not heard this before, and after a quick glance through the sections on obligations of the faithful and the Eucharist I didn’t find anything regarding this rule. Perhaps someone else knows more about it?

[quote=gladtobe]I don’t think so. I know of people who seldom went. I’m talking once a year or once every five years. They were never excommunicated.
[/quote]

This canon was likely a *latae sententiae, *or automatic, excommunication which would not have needed public declaration. Secondly, a person must be aware that the canonical penalty exists for such an excommunication to occur.


#17

[quote=puzzleannie]Missing mass is not a mortal sin unless all the conditions for mortal sin are present. …
If those 3 conditions are present it is a mortal sin. .
[/quote]

Then, it never changed since Vatican II. We still have it legislated.
If this is the case


#18

We’re TOAST:

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

Me thinks there are MILLIONS walking around in Mortal sin with that above “also to be observed” … millions and millions … some of those days there arn’t many at church at all.

Stoke up the fire …


#19

We’re TOAST:

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

Me thinks there are MILLIONS walking around in Mortal sin with that above “also to be observed” … millions and millions … some of those days, there arn’t many at church at all.

Stoke up the fire …


#20

We’re TOAST:

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

Me thinks there are MILLIONS walking around in Mortal sin with that above “also to be observed” … millions and millions … some of those days, there arn’t many at church at all.

Stoke up the fire …


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