From Detroit Catholic:
Citing the “essential and central nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice” in the life of the Church, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron on Feb. 9 announced the general dispensation from Sunday Mass for Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit will expire on March 13.
However, while the general dispensation — which relieves all Catholics in the archdiocese from their moral obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days — is expiring, the archbishop said he will continue to grant “particular dispensations” to those in need, including those who are at high risk of COVID-19.
Others who may continue to be excused from their Sunday obligation include:
- Those who are ill or whose health would be significantly compromised were they to contract a communicable illness;
- Those who care for the sick, homebound or infirmed or someone in a high-risk category;
- Pregnant women;
- Those age 65 or older;
- Those who cannot attend Mass for other reasons (such as a lack of transportation or being turned away because of capacity limits); and
- Those who have “significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.”
Anyone who exhibits flu-like symptoms or believes they might be asymptomatically carrying COVID-19 or another communicable illness also are asked not to attend Mass “as an act of justice and charity” toward others, Archbishop Vigneron said in a letter to the faithful.
“In allowing the general dispensation to expire, we welcome back to Mass all Catholics who have already been engaged in other activities that would present a similar or greater risk of exposure, such as eating out at restaurants, traveling, partaking in non-essential shopping, and widening one’s circle of contacts,” the archbishop wrote. “These individuals should also prepare to return to Mass in recognition of its preeminence in our lives as Catholics.”
You can read the full text of the archbishop’s letter here.
He notes at the conclusion:
The health and safety of our communities is and always will be paramount as we continue to closely monitor local conditions. For that reason, I am continuing the liturgical directive that all the faithful present at Mass, with the exception of small children, wear a mask or face-covering. If this proves impossible for you or a family member, please speak with your priest. Additionally, our churches will remain limited to no more than 50 percent of available capacity for the near future, and many other existing protocols will remain in place. The Archdiocese is committed to assisting pastors to adjust Mass schedules or offer additional public Masses, insofar as possible, to make it easier for as many of the faithful as possible to attend Mass while still practicing social distancing during the approaching Lent and Easter seasons.
At the beginning of this pandemic, I entrusted the Archdiocese of Detroit to Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness for those who suffer illness, asking that, through her intercession, God would grant healing and protection to the people of southeast Michigan and beyond. I ask you, brothers and sisters, to join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving to Our Blessed Mother for her intercession so far and to pray for her continued accompaniment. With her help, let us persevere in hope to face the challenges of this virus and continue to give witness to our confidence in the good news of the Lord’s victory over suffering and death.