Obligation to attend Sunday Mass re-asserted

To all Parishes and Institutions of the Archdiocese

In March 2019, the Archbishop granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation. This was done with regard to the safety and well being of all concerned as the pandemic was overwhelming at that time. Gradually, as the disease became less of a threat, other aspects of life have opened up and there are firm indications that we are now better able to cope with Covid-19. In other words, the danger posed by the pandemic is at the present time more easily managed. Taking all this into account and after serious and careful consideration, the Archbishop has decided to revoke the dispensation and revert to the normal practice of obligatory Mass attendance on Sundays and on holy days of obligation. This will come into effect from the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity i.e. the weekend of 11/12 June 2022. As is normally the case, those who are sick are not obligated to attend Mass.

With the legal limit of fifty percent of the seating capacity still being in force, we urge Parish Priests/Administrators to see how best they can arrange Mass attendance. Some have already opted for an extra Mass over the weekend and that is commendable. Another idea is to encourage people to make greater use of the Saturday evening Mass during his time of restriction in order to be faithful to the third divine commandment: “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” (Ex 20:8). The need for live streamed liturgies will be diminished and here we appeal to the discretion of Parish Priests/Administrators the assess the needs of his Parish.

The safety protocols such as avoiding the crowding of entrance and exit points, the wearing of face masks, maintaining brevity, social distancing, hand sanitising, etc. are helpful and ought to be maintained.

We wish to thank all concerned for the cooperation received thus far. May the Lord continue to bless and protect his Church.

Sincerely,

Bishop S. David OMI
Vicar General/Auxiliary Bishop