Catholics who are part of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be required to attend Sunday Mass again after the expiration of an exemption that was granted when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The obligation will be effective on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent. An email sent to priests by Bishop Robert Casey, the vicar general of the archdiocese, asks them to reinvite physically able parishioners to join the Mass in person once again.
National Catholic Register reports:
For Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sunday Mass will become obligatory once again after a general dispensation was granted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restoration of the obligation comes more than a year and a half after dioceses in other parts of the U.S. began lifting their dispensations.
“Dear Brothers, Cardinal [Blase] Cupich is lifting the general dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass that was put into effect at the beginning of the pandemic,” says an internal email to priests from the archdiocese’s vicar general, Bishop Robert Casey.
The obligation goes into effect on Nov. 26 and 27, the First Sunday of Advent.
“As we begin a new Church year on the First Sunday of Advent, November 26-27, this is a moment to renew our invitation to those parishioners who are physically able to return to Mass in person, as well as renew our life in Christ as a community of believers,” the email says.
The email asks the priests to lead their parishes in a renewal of their baptismal promises after the homily and in place of the Nicene Creed, “acknowledging that we owe our obligation to participate in Sunday Mass to God but also to each other.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago’s decision to restore the obligation comes more than a year after other dioceses have done the same. Dioceses who have lifted the general dispensation in 2021 include Tucson, Ariz.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Wichita, Kan.; Des Moines, Iowa; Laredo, Texas; Lansing, Mich.; and Los Angeles.
More recently, the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, lifted its dispensation on March 20, 2022, and the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, lifted its dispensation April 17, 2022.
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