Monday, June 25, 2012

What If I'm Late for Mass?

Sunday evening, Marian and I walked to a 7:30 Mass at a nearby church in Madrid, only to find that they were just taking the collection. We had missed the opening prayers, the readings and gospel, and the homily.

Given that we had tried to attend Mass at the cathedral in Ávila at 9:30 am, only to find the cathedral closed (!), and that this was likely to be our last Sunday Mass possibility in a city we didn't know well, we stayed.

Is it right to receive communion under these circumstances? Who can tell me what the Church says about this?

By the way, I'm convinced that the Mass was moved up because of the Eurocup game on TV. But Marian tells me that the priest explained the schedule and it had nothing to do with football or the European championships. Yeah, sure.


  1. It used to be you had to be present at the start of the Offertory. My understanding is that, post Vatican II, if you have made a sincere effort to be on time, there is no part of the Mass you MUST attend in order to receive. The key is - was this intentional? Is it habitual?

    Twice in y family travels we arrived during COmmunion. We waited and spoke with the priest afterwards and after explaining our situation and our intention to be on time, he asked us to recited the pentitential prayer and then did let us receive.

    1. That's the thing we tend to forget, a mortal sin has to be intentional and with full consent of the will.
      We missed once on a Holy Day because we got the time wrong (I had been told it was a certain time, got to church and no Mass!) Our pastor told me that, under the circumstance, we were released from our obligation that day.

  2. It was neither intentional or habitual. And we did put a coin in the basket . . .

  3. Allison's got it right: the classic guideline was to be present for the Liturgy of the Eucharist at least, from when the priest unveils the chalice until he veils it again after Holy Communion.


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