As the pandemic subsides, and public gathering restrictions and safety protocols are lifted, it is time to gather as the Body of Christ once again. Therefore, the bishops and diocesan administrators of the Minnesota Catholic Conference have decided to reinstate the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation beginning the weekend of July 3-4, 2021.
The dispensation is being lifted July 1, 2021. What does that mean?
The Sunday obligation to attend Mass in person was temporarily lifted during the pandemic out of concern for the safety of our most vulnerable.
As the pandemic subsides, and public gathering restrictions and safety protocols are lifted, it is time to gather as the Body of Christ once again. Therefore, the bishops and diocesan administrators of the Minnesota Catholic Conference have decided to reinstate the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation beginning the weekend of July 3-4.
What is the purpose of the Sunday obligation?
God gave his people the gift of the Sabbath (Saturday evening – Sunday), and in the Third Commandment instructed for our wellbeing that we keep it holy. For more on this, read five reasons why attending Mass weekly is essential to our faith.
Does this mean there will no longer be any dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligations?
Even after July 1, there remains reasons why a Catholic have a dispensation from the Sunday obligation, including when he or she is ill or serving as caretaker for one who cannot attend Mass.
If you are unable to attend Mass in person, St. Edward live streams our 5:00pm Mass every Saturday. It is available afterwards, on demand from our Online Mass page. Drive-Up Holy Communion is offered every Sunday at 10:30am.
How is my parish keeping us safe when we attend Mass?
St. Edward continues to follow liturgical protocols to ensure the safety of all participating in the Mass.
Why is receiving Communion vital to the Catholic faith?
Holy Communion is “the source and summit of the Christian Life.” (CCC 1324). The Apostles and earliest Christian communities joined in community for celebration of the Eucharist. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read, “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42). St. Paul also refers to the celebration of communion, writing, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).
Jesus chose such a moment to reveal his identity soon after the resurrection, following his journey alongside two travelers on the road to Emmaus: “And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight… Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24: 30-31, 35).
I can work from home, why can’t I worship from home?
It is powerful when we come together to pray. Jesus tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Certainly, we can pray anywhere; the Lord invites us to relationship with Him. But there is something extra special about coming together in worship on the Sabbath (Saturday evening-Sunday) in the sanctuary. St. John Chrysostom said, “You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests” (CCC 2179).
I’ve been worshipping from home for over a year, why should I go back now?
Since resuming public worship in May 2020, parishes have taken great care to ensure safety protocols are followed by staff, as well as Mass-goers. With the rise in percentage of the population vaccinated, cases are decreasing and we are starting to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. For these reasons and more, Gov. Walz announced in Executive Order 21-21 that social distancing is no longer mandated indoors as of May 28, 2021, meaning parishes may now open at full capacity. St. Edward stands ready and eager to welcome back the faithful for in-person worship.
Will Mass look different?
Yes, it might, especially if you haven’t come to church for some time. Although social distancing is no longer mandated indoors, please use your best judgement and be sensitive to those around you who may still prefer to have some space. Masks are encouraged, but not required. We will continue to provide hand sanitizer for all those participating in the Mass. Full details on our protocols HERE.
Yet more powerful than the differences are what remains the same: Jesus in the Eucharist. The sense of community and fellowship among those worshiping. And the opportunity to participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, just as believers have since the very beginning of Christianity.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our church office.