Sometimes we are unable to get to Mass on Sunday due to illness or because we are caring for someone who cannot take care of themselves.
Currently most of us are unable to attend Mass because public Masses have been cancelled.
So, what are you supposed to do if you can’t go to Mass on Sunday?
1. Spend time in prayer and read the day’s Mass readings.
Spend some time in prayer. It's important to dress as you would if you were going to Mass!
Thank Our Lord for all the times you’ve been able to go to Mass in your lifetime, and pray for those who do not have consistent access to the sacraments. Read the Mass readings for the day, and say your favorite prayers.
The Morning Offering, for example, is a free daily devotional email that comes to your inbox every morning with meditations, Mass readings, a homily, the saint of the day, and more! You can sign up for that here.
2. Make a Spiritual Communion.
St. Thomas Aquinas defined Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.” It is a wonderful practice for when we are not able to go to Mass.
Here is a prayer by which you can make a Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
3. Bless yourself with Holy Water.
When used reverently, Holy Water can help protect us from evil, cure illness, overcome temptation, and even remove the temporal punishment for venial sins!
Blessing ourselves with holy water at home and at Church is a wonderful habit to develop.
4. Try watching the Mass online or on TV.
In the digital age, there are countless options for watching the Mass online or on TV. Some parishes livestream the Mass for their shut-in parishioners, and EWTN shares the Mass live on their TV network every day.
Note: televised Mass does not replace our obligation on normal Sundays when we have no serious reason to be absent.
5. Remember to rest and enjoy true leisure.
We must remember to rest and relax on the Lord’s Day and avoid any unnecessary work. Enjoy the outdoors or play a game with your family, call a friend and catch up, or make a nice cup of tea and read a book outside!
In our current culture, there is no longer a proper understanding of what "leisure" actually means. The 21-day series Finding Simplicity provides a beautiful explanation. Here is an excerpt:
...leisure is a certain stillness; a calm; an absence of nervous preoccupation. It is the opposite of the modern demand for constant activity. At the same time, it is not laziness, idleness, lounging around without purpose (or “vegging out” as we say), or the listless consumption of food and entertainment.
Leisure is, instead, a contemplative attitude; it is the ability to receive. For example, you have most likely experienced sitting quietly outside on a beautiful day, listening to the sounds around you—the birdsong, the wind in the trees, the rustle of chipmunks in the undergrowth, or the flutter of wings. There is no need to dissect such an experience, or even to understand it. We simply receive it, and bask in it. We even rejoice in it—for true leisure is celebratory. We contemplate the beauty of God’s creation; we affirm its goodness and the goodness of our own existence because God made it for us to enjoy...
Ultimately, leisure exists so that we can remember who we are as God’s creatures and what our ultimate purpose is. It guides us to seek our wholeness in Him alone, and not in the work we do.
—Finding Simplicity: A 21-Day Guide to a Balanced Life
Final Thoughts: Thank God For His Blessings, Praise Him for Himself
Some closing thoughts: make the day as beautiful, restful, and joyful as possible. Do it in a way that brings peace to your family.
And don't forget to thank God for all His blessings (even in the midst of the current anxiety) and praise Him. Sunday is a day in which we are called to praise and glorify and worship Him in a very particular way!
God bless you and yours.
What are you and your family doing on Sundays?
How are you honoring the Lord's Day? Would you add anything to our list?
Share with us in the comments below!