CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The pandemic-era policy that relieved Catholics of their weekly obligation to attend Mass is over.
It has been more than a year since this exemption was put into place because of the pandemic but Bishop William Byrne is now welcoming the Catholic community back to church after he announced the lifting of the dispensation for the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day mass.
In a letter to the Massachusetts Catholic Community, Bishop Byrne said that the opportunity to participate in Sunday Mass is increasingly more available and safer.
The lifting of the dispensation has also occurred in other dioceses in the Boston province, including Boston, Fall River, Manchester, and Portland, however the obligation to go does not apply to those who are ill or homebound.
As Massachusetts state COVID-19 restrictions have eased, so have protocols in parishes that now allow altar servers, singing choirs, and hymnals.
Each pastor is implementing these changes at their discretion and vaccinated parishioners do not have to wear a mask and do not need to socially distance.