Oops…what about Mass?
I’ve found that when I try to arrange my travel plans, the actual day of departure can depend on factors outside my control! And I don’t like being out of control. For instance, If a tour I really want to join starts and ends on a specific day, I have little choice about when I leave. Or a business trip, is another instance where I have little wiggle room. Leisurely traveling on my own? Depends on the airline, my schedule and a lot of things I just can’t control.
Then, as my travel date gets closer and I realize that I’ll be traveling over a Saturday night, and my flight leaves too early for a Vigil Mass, it hits me that I may not be able to attend Sunday Mass at all. Have you ever had the pleasure of trying to find a Catholic Church after getting off the plane in a foreign country with serious jet lag? I have and I wouldn’t recommend it.
So maybe I can help you out. It took me a while, but I discovered that there are actually chapels at many airports where you can attend Sunday Mass (or even daily Mass at some airports). You might be able to catch one before departure or possibly upon arrival in your next city….or even between flights. I once landed in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 9:00 a.m., attended an 11:00 am. Mass in the airport chapel, and then caught my next flight at 1:00 p.m.
We have just added a page to our website detailing various airport chapels around the world. Although most of these chapels are non-denominational, they do offer a Catholic Mass on many occasions.
If you are in a pilgrimage group traveling with a priest, you can usually make arrangements to say your own private Mass in the airport chapel regardless of your day of arrival.
Can’t make Sunday Mass due to travel?
This is what I’ve been told by a priest friend of mine: “If you absolutely cannot find a Mass due to traveling, then you are relieved of your Sunday obligation. But I suggest you attend Mass as soon as possible and offer that Mass up as your Sunday Mass”