For Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sunday Mass will become obligatory once again after a general dispensation was granted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restoration of the obligation comes more than a year and a half after dioceses in other parts of the U.S. began lifting their dispensations.

“Dear Brothers, Cardinal [Blase] Cupich is lifting the general dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass that was put into effect at the beginning of the pandemic,” says an internal email to priests from the archdiocese’s vicar general, Bishop Robert Casey.

The obligation goes into effect on Nov. 26 and 27, the First Sunday of Advent.

“As we begin a new Church year on the First Sunday of Advent, November 26-27, this is a moment to renew our invitation to those parishioners who are physically able to return to Mass in person, as well as renew our life in Christ as a community of believers,” the email says.

The email asks the priests to lead their parishes in a renewal of their baptismal promises after the homily and in place of the Nicene Creed, “acknowledging that we owe our obligation to participate in Sunday Mass to God but also to each other.”

“Our common profession of faith and of our desire to turn away from sin will be concluded by a sprinkling rite with the waters of baptism,” the email said.

“Be assured of my prayers for all of you and your parishes as we continue to invite people to full, active, conscious, and in-person participation at Mass and in the life of our local Church,” the email says.

CNA contacted the Archdiocese of Chicago for comment but did not immediately receive a response prior to publication.

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The archdiocese’s decision to lift the dispensation comes more than a year after several dioceses have chosen to do the same. Dioceses including Tucson, Wichita, Lansing, Des Moines, Santa Rosa, and Laredo began lifting their dispensations in the spring and summer of 2021. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ dispensation ended on June 19, 2021.

More recently, the Diocese of Brownsville lifted its dispensation on March 20, 2022, and the Diocese of Raleigh lifted its dispensation April 17, 2022.