From a reader…
A woman in my 60s now, having had a couple of bad falls one requiring surgery, the other requiring weeks of bedrest . . . the church parking lot and walkways usually icy, frozen, unplowed, untreated, and no matter what, it’s a far walk from the car to the door. Can be treacherous. My husband asks me to stay home from church until a warm day melts the bad stuff . . . we understand the parish budget doesn’t allow for plowing shoveling treating . . . is it displeasing to God for me to miss Mass? (I do watch and pray along on EWTN).
Be at ease.
There is an axiom of ancient Roman law which the Church also holds: ultra posse nemo obligatur, that is, no one is obliged to do what is beyond his power to do. Put another way, God does not ask of us what is not possible.
While we all have Sunday and Holy Day obligation to fulfill, there are occasionally circumstances and reasons why we just can’t do it.
If people are impeded from attending Holy Mass for a serious reason, for example if they are invalids or they are ill, or even if they are, like you are, afraid of slipping and falling on the ice during winter, then they are excused their obligation.
That’s a serious concern, by the way. I slipped on ice and broke my leg once, so I know where you are coming from. And I was pretty young at the time. As an aside, I don’t get why people laugh when others slip and fall. It’s not funny. Perhaps they do so, because such a sight makes them nervous and relieved that it didn’t happen to them. But I digress.
Mind you, people do not fulfill their Sunday or Holy Day Obligations to attend Mass by watching a recording or transmission of a Mass, regardless if they are shut-ins or not. So, watching Mass on TV, etc., can be a holy and pious thing to do, but it does not fulfill the obligation strictly speaking.
However, in your case, your obligation is excused. You can stay at home. Moreover, you will have followed your husband’s request in the matter, which is also a good thing.
Remember too that canon 1245 gives to pastors the right to dispense or commute the obligation of observing Sunday, a Holy Day of obligation, or a day of penance. You could give the parish a call and ask the pastor to commute your obligation to some other good work.