Welcome to the Catholic Church of the Holy Family. We are a family celebrating God's gift of life and love in Word, Worship, Community and Service. We are brothers and sisters journeying together in Faith, hoping for the coming of God's kingdom of justice and peace.
Holy Family Mission Statement:
This past weekend we had the “surprise” of Hurricane Matthew which affected thousands in the Virginia Beach area. We were all affected differently: loss of power, trees blocking the street, high water, etc. With that being said, on Sunday the church parking lot was flooded before the 8:15 Mass (the water went down before the 11am Mass), we were without power in the whole building, and in the sanctuary there was about 3 inches of standing water. The decision to still celebrate both Masses despite the conditions of the church was Father’s decision alone and he did because he could safely make it to the church.
But what does this mean for me?
The website for our neighbor Diocese, Arlington, addresses this topic of missing Mass on Sunday:
“All baptized Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. However, there are particular circumstances or conditions that may excuse a Catholic from this obligation. If you are ill, homebound, or if there are severe weather conditions that make attending Mass dangerous to your safety or that of others, you are excused from the obligation. In such cases, if you are unable to attend Mass, the church recommends making a spiritual communion and spending some time in prayer.”
So in the case of Hurricane Matthew (and for future situations), if you used your best judgement and did not attend Mass on Sunday because the conditions were not safe for you or others, you did not commit a sin. For the future situations, please pray about your it and make the most prudent decision you can make when weighing all the circumstances, on if you can/should attend Mass.
And so moving forward, you must really reflect on how valuable the Mass and the Holy Eucharist is. What does this mean to you? Do you know that people in other countries risk their lives to attend Mass? Please do not take missing Mass on a weekend or another Holy Day of Obligation lightly. There are times when we have to fight our weaker nature because our weaker nature would love an excuse to sleep in on a Sunday morning or schedule something in place of attending Mass.