What is a Catholic to do with the snow on the weekend?

Of all of the precepts of the Church, the one that Catholics are most likely to remember is our Sunday duty (or Sunday obligation): the requirement to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. Like all of the precepts of the Church, the duty to attend Mass is binding under pain of mortal sin; as the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains (para. 2041), this is meant not to punish but “to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.”

It’s important to take our Sunday duty seriously. Our Sunday obligation isn’t an arbitrary matter; the Church calls us to assemble with our fellow Christians on Sunday because our faith isn’t an individual matter. We’re working out our salvation together, and one of the most important elements of that is the communal worship of God.

At the same time, we each have a duty to keep ourselves and our family safe. You are automatically dispensed from your Sunday Mass obligation if you legitimately cannot make it to the Holy Mass. But whether you can make it is up for you to decide. So if, in your intelligent and prudent judgment, you cannot safely travel then you are not obligated to risk life or safety to do so.

What to Do if You Can’t Make It to Mass

If you cannot attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a Sunday (an ecclesial precept), you ought to still keep Holy the Lord’s Day (a Divine precept).
Perhaps try to set aside time as a family for some spiritual activity—say, reading the epistle and gospel for the day <http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011219.cfm>, or reciting the rosary together<https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gmzvvtuajIk>.

Perhaps listen to the wonderful meditation on the readings provided by the Institute of Catholic Culture:


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