SUNDAY MASS OBLIGATION
Father Edward J. Curtis – Vicar General
Archdiocese of Toronto
On March 13, 2020, Cardinal Collins issued a communication to the faithful of this archdiocese indicating that it was necessary to cancel public celebrations of the Eucharist on the coming Sunday, stating: “For this weekend and any other which may be required, I grant the faithful dispensation from their Sunday obligation”.
Given that most of the health and safety restrictions in our parishes are no longer in place and the faithful are able to attend the celebration of the Eucharist once again, the basis for the dispensation from the Sunday obligation has dissipated and is no longer in effect.
The Church does not obligate people to do the impossible. If individuals, based on their conscience, cannot attend Mass for a grave reason, including a great vulnerability to COVID-19 or because they are self-isolating to limit the spread of illness, then they are excused from their Sunday obligation, as the law of the Church allows.
After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, many have been deprived of the opportunity to attend Mass and to receive the most Holy Eucharist and all of us have missed the opportunity to experience community, including members of our parishes. As we come to the celebration of Pentecost this weekend, we invite and encourage the faithful to return to the practice of attending Mass in-person.