Hartford, Conn., May 12, 2021 / 14:07 pm
The Latin rite bishops in Connecticut announced Monday that in each of their dioceses the general obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and holy days will resume May 23.
The May 10 letter was signed by the ordinaries of the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Dioceses of Bridgeport and Norwich, as well as the auxiliary bishop of Hartford.
“With confidence in the Lord’s grace and protection, we have decided to end the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation in person in each of our respective dioceses effective Saturday, May 22, 2021,” the bishops wrote in their May 10 letter.
They said, “we believe the time has come to review the importance that full participation at Mass has for the spiritual life of all believers and offer a heartfelt appeal for all Catholics to return to the Sunday celebration of Mass.”
The bishops’ decision cited the increase in vaccinated people, decreased hospitalizations around the state, and the stripping of many indoor restrictions on public gatherings as reasons to end the dispensation.
The letter said that the original intent behind the dispensation was to protect human life, “especially the frailest and most vulnerable in our midst from becoming infected by a disease which many doctors were unsure how best to combat.”
The bishops thanked their communities for their cooperation in observing the safety protocols “that resulted in no significant viral spread of Covid-19 at any celebration of Mass in our dioceses.”
The encounters with Christ at Mass, they said, “offer us a deeply personal opportunity for spiritual nourishment. By receiving Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, the Lord’s grace strengthens the daily life we share with him through our personal prayer and works of charity. Holy Communion is the celestial food that enlightens our minds, gives comfort to our hearts, and strengthens our wills to live the Church’s mission in word, deeds and manner of life.”