EWTN Catholic Q&A
Missing Mass
Question from Edward on 09-08-2013:

If I unintentionally missed Sunday Mass, do I need to go to confession before I can receive Communion again? I had wholeheartedly planned on going to the 5:30 PM Mass and it was 6:15 PM before I realized that I had missed the last Mass at my parish.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 09-09-2013:


Ordinarily there is no such thing as an unintentional sin. If something is done unintentionally, it is not a sin. That said, there is also such a thing as "faux forgetfulness," the kind of forgetfulness some people develop so as to excuse themselves for not doing something they should have done. I must say that it is really difficult to imagine that you suddenly looked up at 6:15 PM on a Sunday and realized you missed the last Mass of the day.

While I cannot say that you must go to confession for missing Mass, I will say it would be a good idea. Even if this was only a venial sin, the grace received in confession may help you to be more diligent next time in getting to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers