Catholic Church

Catholic Mass Obligation Returns This Weekend in Massachusetts

The obligation doesn't apply to people exposed to COVID-19 and people who aren't yet able to get vaccinated due to age or any health considerations

This May 21, 2016, file photo shows Cardinal Sean O'Malley outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, File

Roman Catholics across Massachusetts are once again required by the church to attend Massachusetts.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston announced that that it was time reinstate the Sunday Mass obligation amid falling COVID-19 cases.



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"It is with great confidence and trust in the Lord that we reinstate this Sunday Mass obligation. It has been a long, difficult year. People have experienced great pain and suffering throughout this pandemic," O'Malley wrote in a letter to parishioners.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, houses of worship have been closed or open under capacity limits for much of the past year. Many services have been broadcasted or held remotely.

Crowds of people, including elected officials attended a Catholic Mass held by Cardinal Sean O'Malley Saturday morning to address social injustice and racism.

“Now we are able to join together, remembering the lives changed and the sacrifices made. Let us gather together again in joy, as one people united around the Eucharist," O'Malley wrote.

The obligation does not apply to those who:

  • Are ill or have recently been exposed to COVID-19
  • Are confined to their homes or to hospitals or other facilities due to illness, infirmity, frailty, or age
  • Are not yet able to be vaccinated due to age or any health consideration.

Anyone with questions about their obligations should consult their local pastor, according to the letter.

Worcester Bishop Robert McManus restored the mass obligation for his parishioners last month.

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