THE DISPENSATION from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation ENDS ON THE WEEKEND OF JUNE 5/6.  The faithful are again required to attend Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation.  Everyone is to return to in-person, communal worship on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (June 5/6).

Here are important items related to the return to public worship at St. Agatha.  I will present them in bullet point fashion for clarity.

  • As is ordinary at all times, certain individuals who have a serious reason for not attending Mass are exempt from the obligation. These include – as always – the ill, the home-bound, and the imprisoned.
  • Though it never has satisfied the obligation, note that watching Mass broadcast through media outlets does not fulfill the obligation to attend Mass for those Catholics who are able to gather for a Sunday celebration and other Holy Days of Obligation.
  • THIS IS AN ADDED NOTE THAT DID NOT APPEAR IN LAST WEEK’S COLUMN. Attending a Mass on any other day besides Sunday (which begins at 5:00pm Saturday) does not fulfill the Catholic obligation to attend Mass on Sundays.
  • As of June 5/6, the faithful will gather in person “without restrictions in parish churches.”
  • All pews are to open for all Masses. The red and white pew-coding is to be removed.  You may sit where and how closely together as you wish.
  • The faithful are free to attend Mass without face-masks. Those who have not been vaccinated and a few others may choose to continue wearing their masks.  On the whole, though, the expectation is that most will discard masks during Mass in order to enter into full participation in song and responsory prayer.
  • As of June 5/6, the distributors of Holy Communion – both the ordinary ones (i.e. priests and deacons) and the extraordinary distributors (i.e. lay distributors) will no longer wear masks to distribute Holy Communion.

Equally, those presenting themselves to receive Holy Communion are to no longer receive wearing a mask.  If you choose to continuing wearing a mask during Mass, you are to remove it/lower it before presenting to receive the Body of Christ.

  • As of this writing, a couple of items are not returning on June 5/6. (1) Holy Water will not yet be returned to the fonts; (2) the Sign of Peace will not yet be restored to the Mass; and (3) The distribution of the Precious Blood will not yet be restored to the Mass.


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