Why is this a sin?

I am having trouble with an understanding of an action as sinful, despite my pastor telling me it is and am hoping for a better understanding of why I am sinful. My husband and I are the singers for our church and I am also an organist. We sing at every single weekend, funeral, nuptial, and special Mass. However, I am two days from my due date, cannot sleep or think, and consequently, my musical ability has gone sharply downhill (not being able to breathe fully due to the position of the baby - healthy, just inconvenient - is not helping either). Next weekend is our celebration of First Communion for our second and third graders and the weekend following is our celebration of Confirmation for our seventh and eighth graders (our three parishes are too small to have this more than once every two years).

My pastor, who really wants things to be perfect when the bishop shows, says that for my husband and I to miss singing at these Masses (which we’d only do if the baby shows up inconveniently timed) or to change the music from the intense choral pieces he wants to something more appropriate for two very tired voices (we still haven’t fully recovered from Holy Week or the funerals last week) - or one voice if I’m in the hospital with the baby and my husband is covering a Mass alone - would be sinful. As the priest, I know I must accept what he says as sinful, but as an engineer, I need a why to do anything and he is far too cranky to ask. So really, why?

I don’t see how he can say that it would be sinful. I mean, he doesn’t want the two of you gone at this time? Or does he want your best from you, which may not happen due to your “blessed event.” I think I would get together with your husband and approach him together and ask what he meant. Then let him know that you can only do so much. You’ll do your best, no matter what. But there are things that may be out of your control. That can’t be seen as sinful.

Ask him which commandment it is a sin against.

Seriously - this is just ridiculous. Nothing you suggest is sinful.

Sounds to me like the pastor’s vanity has gotten the best of him…He wants to impress the Bishop…:shrug:


I agree with the previous posters–it is ridiculous.

I can’t help but wonder if maybe he said it as more of a phrase…? Like, “To miss it would simply be a sin!” meaning something other than it being literally sinful…maybe?

From what you described (maybe there is more to the story?), it seems that the pastor is trying to impress the bishop, and is putting pressure on you to meet those expectations. If anyone is acting sinfully, it sounds as if the pastor is prideful or selfish. Talk with him, and bring others if needed. Try and work it out charitably.

This is a prime example of persons not having a CLUE what the musicians at a parish do.
It’s not a sin…I would hope he would have more compassion for his faithful musicians…(I assume you’re volunteers???) Perhaps the stress of it all is hard on him. I know, I’ve barely recovered from Easter, and we’re having 2 First Communions in 2 languages this weekend and Confirmation on Mother’s Day. It’s really stressful.
No matter. He’s asking too much given the situation.
Have people sub for you. Your fellow parishioners will step up. They’ll survive.
I imagine there are places in the world where it’s not about the pomp and circumstance, but about the administration of the sacraments…ya think? :wink:
Seriously…be at peace. Congratulations on your new addition. Take care of yourselves.
God understands, even if we flawed and frustrated people sometimes forget…
God bless you.

I am stunned and hope he was speaking hyperbolically. (I hope that’s the right word :o)

No way. Not at all. Being tired isn’t a sin. Even if you weren’t having a baby it wouldn’t be a sin to not sing an intense song that takes too much energy out of you.

It wouldn’t even be a sin if you just didn’t feel like singing it for no particular reason. It’s a song.

I hope he was joking because otherwise your priest is going waaayyyy beyond Church teaching. Like, miles beyond.

In reference to getting someone to fill in, that is a definite impossibility. We’ve tried before, and there is no one who will step up no matter what. It is us, or no singing, which is why people in the church (including our potentially kidding pastor) tell us it is sinful for us not to be giving of our time. One of the ladies on the Council told us, verbatim, “In my day, we did not put ourselves first, but instead gave our time willingly to God.” She then indicated that doing otherwise, for any reason was selfish. This is why I’ve been assuming the priest is serious when he indicated similarly. However, I may be a little less than objective with this little sleep and I hadn’t considered that he may have been speaking in the hyperbole. Thank you all for giving me that consideration.

Your priest is being completely ridiculous. Failure to bow to unreasonable expectations of said priest is not a sin. Missing mass because you are having a baby is not a sin.

Um, no, you do not have to accept this at face value because it simply is NOT true.

There is no commandment under which this would be a sin. Ask your pastor to provide you written evidence.

Frankly, the person sinning here is not you.

I would suggest sitting down and organizing your priorities as God has given them to you.
Obviously the first is to Love Him.
Second is to love yourself - because you cannot “love your neighbor as yourself” if you don’t love yourself.
Third - taking care of those God has given you to care for…namely your husband and your children.
Only after these three things can you even begin to consider the other matters.

So - Love God, Take care of yourself and your soon to arrive little one and only after that consider the other things.

And if the other people cannot deal with that…well the sin is on their heads, not yours.


So has your baby arrived?

God bless!

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