Obligation to attend mass in person in Ohio resumes June 5-6

The mask mandate will be lifted, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati says
Easter Sunday Mass from St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati
Easter Sunday Mass from St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:49 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The holy obligation to attend in-person mass for Catholics across Ohio, including the 19-counties that make up the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, will resume the weekend of June 5-6, according to the Catholic Conference of Ohio.

Catholics have been dispensed from the obligation since the coronavirus pandemic broke out last spring.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati also is lifting the mask mandate for churches.

“Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has decreed that for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Mass is reinstated, beginning with the Sunday Masses of June 6, 2021 (including the vigil anticipatory Mass on Saturday, June 5),” the archdiocese said in a prepared statement.

“In addition, in line with our guidance throughout this pandemic to follow the regulations of public health authorities, after the statewide mandate has been lifted (currently scheduled for June 2, per Gov. DeWine’s announcement on May 12) there will be no mask mandate for churches of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The latest information about COVID-19 protocols for churches in the archdiocese can be found on their website.

“As we move beyond the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and access to the COVID-19 vaccine has become more widespread, the time has arrived for the good of all the faithful when the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is no longer necessary,” the Catholic Conference of Ohio wrote in a letter released Friday.

They also wrote:

“As has always been the case, those who have a serious reason are exempt from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. This includes those who are ill, have significant health risk factors or care for someone who is immuno-compromised or ill, as well as those who have significant fear or anxiety of contracting the coronavirus in a large group of persons.

“Nevertheless, these persons should observe the Lord’s Day and are encouraged to spend time in prayer on Sunday, meditating on the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection; an appropriate way to do this is through viewing a broadcast of the Sunday Mass.

“Masses that are broadcast through various media are not intended as a substitute nor do they fulfill the obligation for the persons who are able to gather for a Sunday celebration and other Holy Days of Obligation. Instead, they are intended for the sick, home-bound, the imprisoned, etc., who are unable to attend Mass in person.

They also wrote:

“The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days is not something God asks of us out of his own necessity to be worshipped, but rather a gift to the faithful for their spiritual well-being, eternal salvation and formation in our relationship with God and one another.”

Read their letter in its entirety here.

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