The Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania have announced the obligation to attend in-person mass will be reinstated in August.
Now, the bishops have issued a joint statement, reinstating the obligation to attend mass on Sundays and holy days beginning August 15, 2021. The obligation does not apply to those with serious illness or health risks, or their caregivers.
“I am very pleased that the effects of the pandemic have subsided enough that we can finally gather safely for Mass on Sundays and holy days,” the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, said. “The number of people already attending Sunday Mass has been growing steadily, and I know people are truly celebrating the opportunity to receive the Eucharist and to be back in their parish communities.
Bishop Persico emphasized the importance of attending mass.
“We gather at Mass to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the source of our existence,” he said. “It’s a reminder of the special relationship we have with God and with each other in community. We are fortunate to have an opportunity to honor God and to give God glory, praise and thanks each week.”
According to the joint statement released by Pennsylvania’s bishops,
“We have all known and felt the impact of COVID-19 in so many ways as individuals and families, among friends and at work. It has been a time of hardship and struggle, of separation and isolation. It has also had an impact on our lives of faith. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has been with us throughout this very difficult period and is most especially near to us when we encounter him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist offers us his healing and peace, his mercy and reconciliation. It is time for everyone to return to the Eucharist
with renewed faith and joy.”
Those who are not able to attend in-person mass are encouraged to spend time in prayer, meditate on the death and resurrection of the Lord, read Scripture and to unite themselves to Christ.
Mass will also continue to be livestreamed for those unable to attend.
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