The Reinstatement of the Sunday Mass Obligation May 23, 2021 the Solemnity of Pentecost

Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller
By the Grace of God and the Authority of the Apostolic See


Archbishop of San Antonio


DECREE


The Reinstatement of the Sunday Mass Obligation


May 05, 2021


My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is through the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, that we are sustained with the lifegiving nourishment of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Due to the essential spiritual need we have for weekly physical participation in Sunday Mass, the tremendous gift and spiritual nourishment of physically receiving our Lord in Holy Communion is critically important for our spiritual growth and is very much needed right now.
Therefore, in consultation with various officials, and in light of the increasing number of individuals having received the COVID-19 vaccine, I believe now is the appropriate time to remove the dispensation previously granted to Catholics on March 13, 2020, from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation. I revoke the dispensation I granted on March 13, 2020. Therefore, effective May 23, 2021, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the obligation for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation is reinstated for all Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
For Catholics who have serious reasons for not physically attending Mass, I encourage you to follow the guidance the Church provides in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2181): “The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.” Other examples are the elderly and physically disabled persons and those with compromised immune systems who have prayerfully discerned that they should not physically attend.
The protocols issued earlier remain in effect for those attending Mass, namely: wear a face mask before entering the Church and throughout the Mass, use hand sanitizer before receiving Communion, maintain three feet of space between you and others, follow instructions of ushers, as you enter and leave the Church, and receive Holy Communion in the hand and not on the tongue.
As Catholics, we gladly return to the altar of God to receive the Bread of Life from the One who gives healing and joy to our hearts.

Most Reverend Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS

Archbishop of San Antonio

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