Diocese of Green Bay: Sunday Mass obligation returns

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Northeast Wisconsin Catholics are again being obligated to attend Mass, according to a new decree from Bishop David Ricken.

In March, Bishop Ricken granted a dispensation from the obligation to worship at Sunday Mass indefinitely in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Many parishes have reopened Mass in recent months to limited capacities.

Under the new decree, Bishop Ricken says the dispensation from the obligation to worship at Mass on Sunday is no longer strictly necessary, meaning Northeast Wisconsin Catholics “will once again be morally obligated to come to Mass on Sundays throughout the Diocese.”

The obligation will resume on the weekend of September 19 and 20 – the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

“Since the Mass is the entering into the one and infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and thus a sacred meal by which we are spiritually nourished with His Body and Blood, the obligation to gather together as a Christian community to worship on Sundays is a natural reflection of our faith as His disciples. Worshipping together at Mass as God’s people is also beneficial both spiritually and psychologically as we support one another in our Christian lives. Thus, the healthy practice of Sunday worship is a blessing that we must continue,” the decree says.

Those with serious health concerns or are physically or morally prevented from worshipping at Mass for a grave reason are not subject to this obligation. If an individual is frail due to illness, age, or in their well-formed consciences believe that going into public places, including Sunday worship at Mass, “would place their health or the health of their loved ones in serious jeopardy, they too are not bound by this obligation.”

If occupancy limits have been reached in a given Mass that precludes safe social distancing, the obligation does not apply.

For those who cannot attend Mass, but still want to take part, you can join Bishop Ricken on WFRV Local 5 on-air and online each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. for Mass.

Read the full decree here:

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