EWTN Catholic Q&A
Missing Mass
Question from Anonymous on 11-01-2013:

I am going on holiday on a cruise ship and during the two weeks aboard, we won't be in port on two Sundays. I'm told the ship only holds an ecumenical service on Sundays. Will it still be a sin to miss Mass due to circumstances beyond my control?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 11-07-2013:


First, let's be clear: You are not facing "circumstances beyond [your] control." You signed up for this cruise and paid money to do so. No one is "forcing" you to go to sea for two weeks, which is what "circumstances beyond my control" implies. Evidently, you also neglected to use due diligence in researching the amenities offered to religious travelers on this cruise before committing to this cruise.

I say this because I think it is important that Catholics take responsibility for choices they make to arrange their travel plans in such a way so as to allow for attending Mass on obligatory days. Rest assured, you are not the only one who does not do this. See the link below for more information.

That said, if you are traveling in an area where there is no Mass, it is not a sin to miss Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation. But perhaps you should examine your conscience to determine if there was more you could have done to arrange your travel plans so that you could have gone to Mass on obligatory days had you taken the time and care to do so.

Recommended reading:

Desperately Seeking a Catholic Mass by Michelle Arnold

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers