If you have to miss Mass due to illness, caring for someone who is ill, weather conditions, or another extraordinary circumstance, there are other things you can do to focus yourself on the Lord. Nothing can replace participation in the Mass, but I find that if I must miss for some reason beyond my control, that I feel much more in tune with God if I take special effort to cultivate our relationship in other ways.
Here are some ideas for what you can do:
1) Call to have the Eucharist brought to you. This usually is only possible if you have forewarning that you will miss Mass - a prolonged illness, new baby, hospital stay, etc. - because you will generally need to call the church office during the week and arrange to have it brought to you on Sunday.
2) Make an Act of Spiritual Communion.
3) Watch a Mass on television or online at EWTN.
4) Read the readings for the day.
5) Read a reflection on the day's reading.
6) Listen to a podcast of the day's homily.
7) Write in a prayer journal.
8) Listen to your favorite hymns. (I personally love the Gregorian Chant station on Pandora.)
9) Read a spiritual book, daily devotional, or about a Saint whose feast day is that day.
10) Add an additional devotion to your day - a morning or evening prayer, rosary, a special prayer of intention for someone else, or just set aside a determined amount of time for extemporaneous prayer.
Today marks the sixth week in a row that I have missed Mass. Pray that I'll have enough strength to attend this upcoming Wednesday, Ash Wednesday? I've been working on devoting my time to the Lord, but I still long to be well enough to return to Mass. There is truly no substitute for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I did it! Post 7 of 7.
Now you get a much needed break from me, my readers!