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Full Version: How to determine when to stay home from Mass?
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So this has been tricky for me as of late. I don't like missing Mass at all, period, but I know that there are good and valid reasons to stay home. I missed quite a bit of Mass when we were getting hit by snowstorms because I didn't know how the driving conditions would be, and I've also been getting a lot of infections. 

It's currently Good Friday. I've been sick in varying degrees pretty much all week. I'm coughing hard and producing phlegm and I need to blow my nose a lot. Laughing can trigger a bunch of coughs. I've been aiming for Easter Sunday Mass at 10:30, which gives me an extra day to rest, but I don't know how contagious I'll be. It feels like the infection (what I think it is, given my symptoms) is moving down into my throat more (post-nasal drip?). 

It feels weird to figure this out because my fiance and I went to a mall yesterday that's six stories tall and we walked around for four hours. I did need tissues and I took medicine before we left, but yeah. It's different to walk around a large mall with a tissue in hand than to be around small children and the elderly and shake hands while you believe you're infectious. I also barely ate anything yesterday due to the sickness.

Advice would be appreciated.
You sound pretty sick, that's a good reason to miss Mass. Honestly, when it comes to missing Mass I don't see it as gravely sinful for a good reason. If you weren't going because you wanted to stay home and watch football, then yeah, that's a concern.

If I recall correctly, you could ask your guardian angel to go in your place. Given that you have every intention to go.
I don't know if you are sick enough to stay home, that has to be your call.  And it is not just about how sick you feel, but you also have to consider spreading sickness to others.
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You can watch Mass on tv or on the internet.  No, it isn't the same, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
Good advice from both of you. Thank you.

When I think it's calmed down some (like today, after having some medicine), it rears back up at some point. I'll see how I'm doing throughout tomorrow, but it doesn't look likely right now.

Worst case scenario, I'll watch Mass online and ask my Guardian Angel to go in my place.
Consider other classic reasons that the Church would except people from their Sunday duty : Care of another sick person, care of young children, more than an hour's travel, personal psychological harm, an unwed mother when she's showing, if one's faith were put in danger by an heretical preacher.

Consider sickness also in what else you would consider doing. If you can get around the house and operate pretty well, would go out for a walk or exercise, or run to the store to get something that was needed without much difficulty and grave suffering, you should go to Mass. If you would just stay at home and not move around much, etc. stay.

Consider also what you would do with work if you have several permitted but unpaid sick days. Would you call in sick? If yes, stay home. If not, go to Mass.

Often these questions are best answered by making analogy with another situation.

The Church's standard is grave inconvenience, physical or moral. Apply that to an analogous situation and see if your sickness or lack of ability to travel would impede you in other circumstances like work. Take advice if you're unsure, then make a call. 

Ultimately the matter is decided by you based on your own consciences. It must be informed, but if you find a decent reason which is not just weaseling your way out, in doubt you can judge in your own favor.
Thank you, MM.

Well, it was tricky yesterday because when my symptoms were spaced far enough apart, it felt like I could make the attempt to go, after taking medicine, but then it was still around at night and into the morning. I took a very short walk to move a crucifix to my fiance's house, then I came back home and did next to nothing all day. I took some medicine at 11 p.m. and was still coughing and blowing my nose around midnight, so I opted to stay home. I had to make several trips to get medicine and tissues while my fiance's daughter was looking for her Easter eggs, looking at her Easter basket, etc.

It's always strange to miss Mass, though, even with a valid reason.