Missing Sunday Mass. Now what?

What do you do when you have to miss (like really zero percent chance you can make it) Sunday mass? Do you do any extra prayer or devotions or?

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I’ve admittedly never been in that situation. But if I was, I’d at least read the Sunday readings. And maybe do Morning and Evening prayer.

Is there a priest on the forum who could give an opinion?

You don’t have to do anything specific. If you really can’t make it to Mass, you’re excused. You don’t have to do something extra to “make up for it” or something.

Obviously, if you wanted to spend some extra time at prayer, that’s great, but nothing specific is required.


Watch the Sunday Mass on tv or the internet. It is not the same as being present, but is better than nothing. For example:



You can go to a Saturday mass with the Sunday readings. I am pretty sure it fulfills the Sunday obligation.

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Any Mass the evening before fulfills the obligation; readings don’t matter. However, I think the OP is asking what people do to substitute for the fact that they were unable.

Personally, I do as previously mentioned - Morning Prayer and the day’s readings. It helps, but it’s not the same. :frowning:

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Let us state that it must be the “Saturday Vigil Mass”, just in case, for people who might not know.

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Yes, I know about the Saturday option. I’m traveling and in a rural area with only one church and one mass on Sunday. No Saturday. Unfortunately, the one mass is right in the middle of a preplanned family gathering. So, it’s a no go. I feel terrible about missing mass. :confused:

I go about my normal Sunday devotions. The Latin Rosary and reflecting deeply upon the daily readings.

That’s pretty much what the priest at my old parish advised to people who spent the weekends camping. Just take some extra time out to dedicate to God.

I suppose I should stay home if I still have a sore throat? (Recovering from mono)

Not my position to tell you whether you go or not, but you certainly should NOT drink from the Chalice, if your church offers the Eucharist under both species. Also, you can be considerate by not shaking hands during the Peace Offering this week.

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@mrsdizzyd , as far as you are able be guided by what the Catechism teaches : - - - - - -

" Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life."

You’re not required to do anything to “make it up”.

If you wanted to voluntarily do something nice, you could make a Holy Hour and a Spiritual Communion in your house…just sit down by a crucifix and read some scripture or say the Rosary for an hour and then make a Spiritual Communion at the end.

or you could go to an extra Mass on a weekday to “make up for it”. This is not required, it’s totally voluntary, but it’s what I would do to “make up” for missing a Sunday Mass because I don’t like to miss.

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Sorry to say this but if you put the family gathering before God then you are deliberately missing Mass which would be a sin unless I am missing something about your situation. The family gathering is not an obligation. The Mass is an obligation. You have a choice.
I assume you must be the only Catholic from this family gathering otherwise why won’t all of you attend Mass then have your gathering after.

Ideally, one who thinks they will need to miss Mass like once or twice a year for a situation like a family gathering should ask their priest for a dispensation in advance. The dispensation would excuse the person from Mass. I’m guessing most priests would grant it in this type of unusual situation.

If you didn’t think to discuss it with your priest ahead of time, or if you suddenly find yourself in a situation you didn’t plan because you didn’t check up on the Masses in the area ahead of time or someone planned a gathering without considering your Mass needs, then I would suggest you discuss it with the priest in confession sometime during the week. To the extent your missing Mass might be a sin, you can confess it there, and the priest can also advise you about how to handle such a situation in the future.

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I was originally going to be able to make it until they changed the time. Unfortunately, I’m not in control of my own transportation.

Yes, I am the only one who would be going to mass. Everyone else is Baptist and missing church today for the family event (:roll_eyes:). If I forced the issue I’d be going against my mother-in-law who instructed me not to go, and I’d be responsible for sowing discord in the family. This in addition to the fact that I’d have to find someone to take me. :confused:

Not to get off track, but why is your mother-in-law giving you orders? You’re married, so I’m assuming you’re an adult.

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You’ve never met my mother-in-law. She is not the type of person you say no to.

Yes, I am a fully grown adult with children, but when she tells you to do something you say “yes, ma’am” and do it. This is why I can’t even find someone to take me. She rules the roost.

Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.
§2. If participation in the eucharistic celebration becomes impossible because of the absence of a sacred minister or for another grave cause, it is strongly recommended that the faithful take part in a liturgy of the word if such a liturgy is celebrated in a parish church or other sacred place according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop or that they devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.