Missed my holy day of obligation :(


I wanted to check if this is a mortal sin in my case… I’ll be confessing it anyway though :frowning:

I feel really disappointed in myself because I missed today’s Mass, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. I was planning on going to it all week, but for some reason, I was sure it will be at 5 pm - because I thought I heard this at my parish. (I mean 5 pm on January 1st). But today, I checked the website, and saw that it was actually yesterday at 5, and today at 11 am :frowning: which means that I missed it. This was unintentional but I still feel bad about it, I should have checked much earlier!

would you say this is a mortal sin? I’ll still confess it before receiving Communion but I just want to know.

thank you

Are you in the US, Canada, or somewhere else? In the US it is not a day of obligation. In Canada it is, and I don’t know about other countries.

You did not purposely miss mass, you made a simple mistake, therefore it is not a mortal sin.

For a mortal sin one needs grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent…

From what you said you believed it would be at 5pm tonight…and intended to go…and thus missed the other Masses by mistake. Such by nature would not be a mortal sin! For one did not have full knowledge and deliberate consent…you honestly thought it was at 5pm tonight.

2 notes though.

  1. This year Jan 1st the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God is NOT in the USA a day of Obligation. Because if falls on Saturday (or Monday)

  2. Now if it had been one of the few that remain a Holy Day even on Saturday(in USA) …even if you went to the 5pm Vigil for Sunday Mass on that Day and it was the “Liturgy of Sunday” not per se of that Holy Day…it would still fulfill ones Holy Day Obligation and then one would go too on Sunday the next day for Sunday.

But this year…assuming your in the USA …there is NO obligation to attend Mass on the Holy Day…

If you do mention it in confession…make sure you say what actually happened…but I do not see any sin to mention at all…so does not seem to me there is any matter to mention.

If today is a Holy Day of Obligation where you are (yes in Canada I think, and no in the US this year), then you can still meet your obligation at a Mass this evening, even if the Mass is the readings and prayers of the Epiphany instead of Mary Mother of God. If you use a Mass tonight for your Jan. 1 obligation, then you need to go back to Mass tomorrow for your Sunday obligation.

Obligation is based on the date (evening before or day of), not on what readings and prayers are used at the Mass you attend on this date. So if you have an obligation, be sure to attend tonight and tomorrow both. If you can attend and know about it and don’t go, that’s mortal sin. If you accidentally missed and can’t make it somehow tonight - go to Confession whether you think it was mortal or not. Confession is always good for the soul.

Missing mass because you are confused about mass times is not a mortal sin In addition if you live in the United States today is not a holy day of obligation anyway .

Nor in the UK, regardless of the day of the week.

Even though there is no obligation for Mass, it is still a Holy Day of Obligation.

Code of Canon Law

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.


Catechism of the Catholic Church

2193 “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body” (⇒ CIC, can. 1247).


Only the obligation to attend Mass was abrogated, not the obligation to avoid servile work.


Pax Christi!

No, probably (cuz I’m no expert) not a mortal sin. But to confess it anyway is praiseworthy and wise. When we avoid every possible slippery slope, we are that much safer.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Amen.

Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. He abolished the Laws. Missing the obligation is not a sin and is not required by God.

The USCCB has transfered todays obligation for Mary Mother of God to Sunday. So as long as you get to Mass tonight for the vigil Mass or tomorrow on Sunday you are ok.

I would charitably suggest that you review forum rules about staying on topic. The question is not whether or not a Catholic has an obligation to attend Mass, but whether or not the OP missed the obligation.

I would also invite you to stay and learn more about Catholicism and why we believe that Jesus left a church with the authority to prescribe disciplines (not laws) to help us with our daily with Christ.

God bless.

Jesus disagrees with your assessment:

Mt 5:17: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

To be more accurate, the obligation is not transferred, its abrogated. Meaning there is no obligation.

Jesus did not abolish the requirment to obey God.

Its not a sin because you did it by mistake. Its not a holy day of Obligation in the US, however I am not sure why. We seem to eliminate and merge some holy days in the US, which confuses me. I am not sure why the US Church is special and can ignore or eliminate Roman Catholic Church Holy days.

From the details you have provided here this is clearly not a mortal sin, so why are you worried that it might be? When you mention this in confession I suggest you tell the priest the whole story (it is not too long) so that he can guide you on the various issues, and particularly ask him “Was this a mortal sin?”. Sometimes it is best to be brief in confession (eg. “I missed my Holy Day of Obligation.”), and other times it is best to give the background, for better counselling.

An interesting question.

It would be incorrect it seems though to say that it “still is a Holy Day of Obligation”…for the Official Calendar for 2011 for the US states clearly that it is “not a Holy Day of Obligation”.

Yes I understand in the degree there is an emphasis is on the fact that the obligation to go to Mass is abrogated…but I think this may mean that the day per se as a solemnity is “not removed from the calendar that year”. It is still celebrated. Including extra Masses usually.

I think that when they remove it from being a Holy Day of Obligation… it may mean that it is simply a solemnity. Thus there would be no obligation to rest etc…being that such is only for “Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation”…

Now my thought here could be wrong…(not completely certain) perhaps someone else knows more…

Here is the official Liturgical Calendar for 2011 for the USA:

1 Sat The Octave Day of Christmas white
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
solemnity [not a holy day of obligation this year]
Nm 6:22-27/Gal 4:4-7/Lk 2:16-21 (18) Prop Pss


Though of course if such is the case…let us still treat it as a “solemn day”…

(just found another who seems to agree ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=444918&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2009&Author=&Keyword=not+a+holy+day&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=15&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=)

Wow, after a week of “Is January 1 a holy day of obligation?” threads, now we feature a "WAS January 1 a holy day of obligation thread. :eek:


Read the document. It does not say that Holy Days of Obligation are abrogated, it says ‘the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.’ Does a calender have more authority than the Code of Canon Law? The CCC lists 2 seperate obligations in paragraphs 2192 and 2193 and references the Code of Canon Law. Perhaps the Bishops should have this clarified by the Vatican. :shrug:

That is odd, the word used in the canon law is abolish (syn. abrogate) which means “to end the observance of”. Canon 1246 ß2 states “However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See.”

The USCCB 1991 promulgation states “in conformity with canon 1246” so it must mean the “holy day of obligation” has been abolished under the conditions. So then canon 1247 would not apply:

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body.