Coughing up a lung? Suffering from a fever and chills? Down with a contagious disease? Our Sunday obligation may mean that we feel obligated to drag ourselves out of bed and to Mass on Sunday morning, but if you’re really sick, it’s actually an act of love to stay home.
Stay home when you’re sick
Love your neighbor as yourself. Consider the germs you’re leaving on door handles, Holy Water fonts, pews, hymnals, in the air, and on the hands of everyone around you. If you’re contagious, it’s charitable towards your brothers and sisters (especially the very young, elderly, or those with a compromised immune system) if you keep your germs at home.
“Parishioners with symptoms of illness should be reminded that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass does not apply to those who are ill, especially if they are suffering from a contagious illness. This is an obligation in charity for themselves and others that those with flu-like symptoms remain at home,” said a memo from the Office of Divine Worship at the Diocese of Green Bay. Many other dioceses across the country have issued similar statements.
Likewise, Deacon Rob Lanciatti encouraged those who were feverish, coughing, sneezing, or have flu-like symptoms to stay home. In an interview with The Drew Mariani ShowTM, the former CDC virologist said the number one prevention for spreading illness is to stay home when you are sick.
It’s difficult for many Catholics to miss Mass—we’re used to spending every Sunday at church and we love our Lord. But we shouldn’t try to be a hero who comes to Mass even when we’re very ill. “People should think more in terms of love for their brothers and sisters,” explained Deacon Lanciatti. “I could go and I could infect people. I could be next to an infant or an elderly person and they could get flu or [coronavirus] from me.”
Participate in the Holy Mass from home
Thankfully, there are ways to participate in the Mass if you’re sick or homebound. Relevant Radio® broadcasts the Holy Mass via the radio and Facebook LIVE video every day.
Find a live stream of Mass on Father Rocky’s Facebook page from Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, WI, every Sunday at 10am ET / 7am PT. Tune in at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT to watch the Mass from Christ Cathedral Parish in the Diocese of Orange, CA.
If you prefer to listen to the Mass, tune in to Relevant Radio on your local station, relevantradio.com, or the Relevant Radio app to hear Mass every Sunday at 10am ET / 7am PT and every evening at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT.
Participating in the Mass via video or radio doesn’t fulfill your Sunday obligation if you’re well enough to attend Mass, but it’s a nice alternative if you’re stuck at home.