Take Mass With You On Your Next Vacation
As a child, summer vacations meant camping trips around the northwest. In planning the trips my parents would make sure that on Sunday, we would be near a Catholic Church for Mass. Sometimes they forgot to check if there was a summer schedule, and a few times we had to wait a bit for the next Mass to begin.
When traveling, the Church asks us to make a “reasonable effort” to be able to participate in Sunday Mass. If near a town, it would be reasonable to see if there is a Catholic Church and what their Mass schedule is.
Attending Mass while on vacation is an opportunity to experience both the universality of our faith as well as the uniqueness of each parish community. If there was no church nearby, it would probably not be reasonable to spend the entire day getting to a church. In that case, one could spend some time in prayer with the Sunday readings. It could be a wonderful experience for the family being the domestic Church. If it takes more than reasonable effort to get to church while traveling, one is dispensed from the obligation to participate in Mass.
Vacations are important. They allow us to get away from the ordinary and experience some of God’s creation as well as family and friends in new ways. Now that we are emerging from COVID, travel seems a little more reasonable. However, one would not take a vacation from Mass anymore than one would take a vacation from eating or breathing. When traveling with children, it gives parents a wonderful opportunity to teach how important Sunday Mass is, and when its not possible to get to Mass, how important family prayer is.