Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"If you miss Mass..."

Confessions and Adoration, Friday (8/11), 7 pm, Church - We will expose the Eucharist and I will be available in the Church booths for Confession this Friday, starting at 7 pm. All are welcome!
Yesterday, someone asked, "if you miss a Mass or you haven't been to Mass for a few weeks, are you allowed to take communion?" Good question! If someone intentionally misses Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, then he/she should not receive Holy Communion until he/she goes to Confession. The reason for this is because we can never receive the Body and Blood of Christ in a state of mortal sin.

How is intentionally missing Mass a mortal sin? Well, let's review the three conditions of a mortal sin: 1) Grave offense - it's seriously wrong, 2) full knowledge-I fully know it's wrong, and 3) full consent-I freely choose to do it. It is a grave offense to miss Sunday Mass. Catholics know they need to go to Mass on Sunday. So, if they freely choose to skip, then all three conditions would be met, and the act would be considered a mortal sin. [But, if someone does not freely choose to miss, - e.g., on vacation and no Mass is offered where they are, or no way of getting to Church, or too sick, or homebound - then it's not a mortal sin.] As I wrote in my post last Friday, "receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin".

Any time we are not sure - or have any doubt at all - if a particular sin that we committed during the week was a mortal sin, we should not receive (still come forward, but cross your arms over your chest, and receive a blessing). While this isn't ideal (I would recommend going to Confession asap), the most important point here is to respect the Body of Christ. I have great respect for those who respect the Eucharist, and are not worried about what others in Church might think.

With this in mind, we recall a great blog made here in late July by Pete S, a SAA teen. Pete wrote a pretty amazing post about John 6:53; I agree with most of what he wrote. But, keep in mind that Christ speaks to us here as individuals, and telling us that He is the life of our souls. Without Him, our souls die. Just like if our bodies don't eat food, they will die, so, too, our souls will die without eating spiritual food.

The Eucharist is our spiritual food. It is "eternal life" dwelling within us. It is Heaven on Earth! "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life" (v.54) is referring not just to when we die, but now...today...this Sunday. I can experience eternal life...happiness...joy...peace...here on Earth.

But, if we consistently live without the Eucharist, we consistently live without eternal life...happiness...joy...peace here on Earth. If done knowingly and freely, it brings darkness and death to our souls: "no life within you".


At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this excerpt gives a fair amount of detail on the issue based on Catholic Theology and Thomas Aquinas.


At 8:12 PM, Blogger Pete said...

True, true.

My point was also that while not recieving the Eucharist is living without all this great stuff, recieving it without really caring, as a habit, isn't fully partaking in all the great stuff.

But you are completely right, of course.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Along the lines of confessing - not attending Mass intentionally- Are there places to find examination of conscience for different ages ....like some for teens, some for marrieds, some for different spiritual stages......The ones i have seen seem like they are made for kids learning about confession.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice picture Pete.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming forward to receive the body and precious blood is not the time for the celebrant, concelebrants or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to bestow a blessing upon those who might come forward with arms crossed on their chests. This teaching of the Church was again stated during the workshop for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion held several months ago when Fr. Walter Tappe responded to questions about this issue.

I requestfully request that Fr. Greg refrain from asking people to come forward for a blessing at the same time the Liturgy instructs is to come forward to receive the body and precious blood of Christ. Certainly their are many, many other times when it is appropriate to bestow blessings - but the Liturgy of the Eucharist is not one of those times.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Father Greg. I was not aware that it was a mortal sin not to attend mass. I also understand now that by accepting communion when I am not in a state of grace, that I am not respecting the body of Christ. I am going to repent my sins this week and be better about attending each Sunday. I realized today that I unknowingly have slipped away from Christ and through reflection see the consequenses in my life. Thank you for helping me!

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

Anon #2, thanks for your question about an examination of conscience. I will be writing a post about this soon, but wanted to let you know that I have a good examimation of conscience for adults (and teens).

It is a brochure called "A Guide to Confession". I will leave copies of it on the table in the SAA vestibule this weekend. You can pick up one or more copies as you leave Church. Let me know if you have any questions after reading through it.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi um, Fr. Greg.. my question isnt related to your topic but i was wondering, i cant find a place to do confession where i am right now and i'll be here for an entire year, i dont speak the language, how do i receive communion again if i cant go to confession, is there a way to receive communion even if i dont go to confession??

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if there are any prayers that one can say in the case that mass is not accessible or if you will be arriving late to mass and you feel that it is pointless to go to mass when you are so late. Last year I was volunteering in China and mass was unaccessible. I asked a father at my parish whether it was a mortal sin and he said it was. Are there any exceptions to missing mass and if I miss mass what prayers can I say?

At 4:40 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Why is missing mass considered to be a mortal sin. How many people are attending church just because of this rather than because they want to.

Would jesus prefer me to spend that hour helping others? Having grown up a strict catholic, i like many others stopped going to church once i left school, but am now going back with my children. I am beginning to question whether Jesus would prefer me to spend the hour with my child doing christian things such as helping others or attending mass.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you knew before the vacation that there was no church there and you could not attend mass and you still decided to go, is it a mortal sin?

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do non catholics commit mortal sin by not going to mass on sunday, also who made that law.Tom.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saying that an individual shouldn't come forward to receive a blessing during Eucharist is not only unfair but judging someone without understanding why they are coming forward. Please do not suggest to anyone how they should worship-that is immoral. Secondly, please Fr. Greg submit a scripture that supports this. I am a practicing Catholic but am at odds with the Church's opinion and while some of those teachings are backed by scripture, others as in this topic may lack that support.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

1 Cor 11:25-27....Merry Christmas!


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