"Why is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Why is it a sin to miss Mass on Sunday? Maybe we should ask "Why is it a sin to "skip" Mass on Sunday?

The second question might be the more correct one. After all, there are several reasons why simply missing Mass on Sunday is not sinful. We all know them well; taking care of a sick child; helping a parent to deal with a violent child; being too ill to get out of bed; having to travel across time zones because there is no other choice for a good reason and many more.

"Skipping" Mass is a lot more serious, because at the very least it shows a "what the heck!" attitude. Before you plunge into your answer, let us tell you about a very religious person that we know who has an invalid husband and a job that requires her to work strange hours on the weekend. She participates in the Holy Mass at least three mornings every week.

Most weeks, she is there four times, but very rarely on Sunday. So she misses Mass just about every Sunday. With all of this information, jump in here and tell the world what you think about why it is a sin (and when it is) to miss Mass on Sunday.

CLICK HERE to see the answer to this Burning Question.


  1. I believe it is a matter of circumstances, or perhaps, intentions. The friend with strange working hours is not sinning if she is working during mass. I believe her intentions are realized when she goes to Mass during the week. On the other hand, missing Mass because it is inconvenient is a sin because it is a deliberate turning away from the worship of God for something that is elevated above God.

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  3. Bob:
    Your comment is spot on correct in its thinking.

    Paul Dion, STL
    Theology Editor

  4. Anonymous11:47 AM

    I don't know about sinful but I do know about tragic. I am brought the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood of Our Saviour each wednesday. he two wonderful women who bring me "The Bread of Life" also bring the loving care and concern of my congregation, my parrish family, my "finger", as it were of the Body of Christ. In so doing they assure me that I am still connected, and not alone.
    As wonderful as this gift is I still long top be in church, in the midst of the bodies of The Body, singing the hymns, many of which I don't likeand saying the prayers, all of wqhich I love, and listening to the homily because, "faith comes by hearing", and sharing the peace of God. I am grateful for what I have but cannot understand how any informed person could voluntarily forgo the pleasure.

  5. I agree with Bob... However, I would add, that if the person could help it, that is, had a choice to exchange Sunday for some other day, without any significant difference in pay, then it is a sin. As much as possible, the person must avoid laboring on Sunday.


  6. Anonymous1:50 PM

    I don't think It should be concidered a major sin becouse I feel alot of people

    distance themselves more from church becouse there are so many rules. People should go to mass becouse they feel a need to be one with Jesus, not becouse they are obligated. I think we should work more on how to make people feel more welcome and show them a merciful GOD and not a punishing GOD.

  7. First I want to ask if anyone would gladly give up eating meals. I know it is hard difficult to give up a meal. Some years ago I gave up eating full meals,all I ate for a whole week was bread and water and I worked very hard and did not tell anyone. Yet i did not feel hungry at all. When the day came to finally eat i really did not feel hungry until I enjoyed the meal again. Now if I were to continue doing the same say for two weeks i would then begin to hurt and starve my body from nutrients needed to survive. Because God made my body that way. When Jesus said this is my Body and this is my Blood he was telling the truth, there is something here I need for my soul, which is GRACE. Grace is received in proportion of my standing with the word of God. By not receiving the body of Christ in essence I am breaking the 5th Commandment if I am choosing to not go to Mass and rather be in front of the T.V. or other obstacles that may come up. Why the 5th Commandment? Because I am killing that which my soul should have received and the Lord is generous and waiting to distribute himself to all. Now can anyone imagine saying no to such a great banquet. It saddens me when I look back at the times I have put other Gods before HIM, now I have broken the Ist Commandment also.