In the Catholic Faith, Attending Church is one of the most important practices that we must partake in. It is the foundation of the faith, and therefore must not be missed. Let’s dive in deeper and discuss the importance of attending Mass and if missing it is a sin.
What is the Importance of Mass?
Before we go through things in detail, let’s discuss the importance of Mass. Going to Church, or Attending Mass is more than just sitting in a room, listening to the priest, & singing hymns. the Mass is a celebration of the sacrifice of the Eucharist. We attend mass to remember and receive the grace that God gives us through his sacrifice on the Cross. Attending Mass is also a time when we worship God and thank Him for all the graces that we receive.
Besides all of that, in the Mass, we are also able to listen to the word of God through the Liturgy. And most importantly, at Mass, we receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus’ body and blood, (in the form of bread and wine) when we receive it, we are reasserting our covenant with God.
Is Attending Church in the Commandments?
When you look at the third commandment, “ Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day” it simply states the importance of making time to make the sabbath day, a holy day. In olden times, Sabbath day was strictly a day for the Lord, a day of worship, and devotion without any distraction. This commandment reminds us of the importance of deliberately spending time with the Lord, most especially during the rest days of the week. With this, it is safe to say, that attending Church is somewhat in the Commandments.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Sunday Mass
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2180-2181, it states that,
2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”117 “The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”118
2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
This clearly states that failing to attend Church especially on Sundays and the holy days of obligation is seen as a grave sin.
If you are not able to attend mass on Sunday, but do so on a Saturday anticipated mass, that mass is counted for your attendance. You are also not required to go to the same parish every Sunday to attend Mass, you can attend Mass in any Catholic Church.
It is also stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that there can be exceptions for not attending church, but with a serious and valid reason. For example, if you are gravely ill in the hospital, and can not go to church it may be excusable. But if the situation is skipping Mass for a shopping trip or an outing with friends or any other reason that has to do with personal gain, then those reasons will not be considered valid to be exempted not to go to Mass.
Going to Church and Not Attending Mass
Sometimes some people attend church activities but never stay and attend Mass, is that considered a sin? Well, yes. It is still considered a sin since they did not attend Mass. We must remember that visiting the Church often, but not attending Mass at all doesn’t equate to attending Mass. One must be physically present during the mass to be able to attend mass.
Is Attending Mass While in the State of Sin Not Allowed?
No. It is a given that as humans we are all sinners. Going to mass even if you know that you are in a state of sin is not a sin. It is still better than fully turning away from God, and not attending Mass at all. What you do have to remember is that you are unable to receive communion, until you go to the sacrament of confession.
Is Not Attending Church a sin?
We hope we were able to answer your question on the matter. We must remember that attending Church or going to Mass is not merely an act of showing up, but rather a time and place where we encounter God and unites us with the Christian teachings. It is a privilege and honor to be able to attend Mass and be with God, so we highly encourage you to keep on attending, even beyond Sundays and holy days of obligation.