Renewal of Sunday Mass Obligation in Sioux Falls
  • https://www.sfcatholic.org/bishop-degrood/redefining-dispensation/

    In case you all hadn't seen this yet - happened while I was on vacation! I believe we are the first diocese in the states to reinstate the Sunday Mass obligation (obviously, for those not at severe risk from COVID). If you're wondering, this changes very little in a practical sense for our Cathedral parish - the parishioners have mostly been back and we have had pretty normal congregations all summer, since public Masses resumed in mid-May. We have had congregational singing since then as well, communion on the tongue, etc.

    I'm sure some will criticize this move from a distance. I'd just point out that you need to consider our local numbers, hospital use, etc. (which have been steady and very good all summer, in spite of increased mobility and reopening). As with everything else COVID, I would hope that this announcement does not inspire either triumphalism or schadenfreude from the highly-polarized. In all things charity.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 558
    I was at your Cathedral tonight! Your [subs? Usual Saturday crew?] did a marvellous job. Full church!
    Thanked by 2CCooze CHGiffen
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 873
    Thank goodness!
    Waiting on ours!

    I'm not sure that the possibility of getting sick is ever actually a valid reason to miss Mass, even though missing while knowingly sick isn't only a valid reason, but expected.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    "I'm not sure possibility of getting sick is ever actually a valid reason to miss Mass"

    And it, in part, was to eliminate scruples over that for which the dispensations have been made.
    Thanked by 2Kathy BruceL
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,864
    I can't see us in England reinstating the obligation until after Christmas!

    Anyway while for some of us it is the Feast of St. Joachim, in some places it was the feast of St. Roch one of a number of saints associated with protection from pestilence,
    https://archive.org/details/V13TheLiturgicalYear/page/n465/mode/2up

    The following is taken from the Roman Breviary,
    Roch was born at Montpellier. He showed his great love for his neighbour, when a cruel pestilence ravaged the length and breadth of Italy; leaving his native country he undertook a journey through Italy, and passing through the towns and villages, devoted himself to the service of the sick, not hesitating to lay down his life for his brethren. Miraculous cures bore witness how pleasing to God was the zeal of the holy man. For by the sign of the Cross he saved many who were in danger of death through the plague, and restored them to perfect health. He returned to his own country, and, rich in virtues and merits, died a most holy death. He was honoured by the veneration of the faithful immediately after his death. It is said their devotion was greatly increased at the Council of Constance, when, in order to avert the pestilence that threatened them, the image of St. Roch was, with the approbation of the bishops, carried solemnly through that town followed by the whole people. Thus devotion to him has spread in a wonderful way through the whole world and he has been piously declared the universal protector against contagious diseases. Having carefully considered all this, Pope Urban VIII allowed his feast to be celebrated with an ecclesiastical office in those places where there are churches dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Roch.
    Thanked by 2Carol bdh
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 478
    Interesting! I've been expecting that the obligation wouldn't be reinstated, maybe ever, and certainly not soon. I wonder how many people go to Mass on Sundays solely because it is obligatory? I think that's been an encouragement for me at times when I didn't feel like it.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 142
    I can't see the obligation being reinstated in my diocese until next summer, or possibly the summer after that.
    Thanked by 2Liam tomjaw
  • I'm looking forward to hearing certain bishop, cough cough, actually bring themselves to the point of saying we're obliged to go to Mass every Sunday.
  • Our bishop extended the dispensation last week. Many people in our area are afraid. We have many immigrants and many factories in our county, so that changes things a bit. Our crowds have been consistently down even though public mass resumed a while back. This week was our highest yet, but that largely has to do with the fact that people come back to mass when religious ed is in session but don't attend otherwise (don't get me started...). I doubt we will have congregational singing before Christmas (if even then) so I'm heartened to see that the OP has full congregational singing. We will have a riot on our hands if people can't sing for Christmas!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    @serviamscores

    put together the largest group of Christmas Carolers (choral singers) and bring them to the streets, parks, neighborhoods, outside of malls, etc. Perhaps Sunday afternoon or anytime really. You can easily social distance the singers and it would kinda be like those surprise performances that turn up unnanounced. If the protesters can do it, surely a harmless group of choralists can do the same.
    Thanked by 3Carol tomjaw kenstb
  • This is welcome, as he is making a distinction that I haven't seen been made anywhere else.

    Obligated, except those who are too old and those in the medical field or exposed.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Carol
    Posts: 577
    Francis, that is called a "flash mob." I hope you have seen the group in Philadelphia with the Wanamaker organ singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" or something similar. It was several years ago so my memory is fuzzy on the details.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    Yes, Carol, that was one of the most memorable... pretty soon we will be doing covert flash mob Masses, but not for the public to see... lol
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 831
    I heard a discussion on Catholic Radio, I don't recall which Bishop or diocese it was, but I heard that while he dispensed with the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, the Sunday Duty must still be fulfilled by reading the scriptures of the day, saying a rosary or watching a live streamed service, etc. So while, yes, one can stay home for health/safety reasons, Sunday is still the Lord's Day which must be observed in some way.
    Thanked by 2bdh BruceL
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    It there was a bishop who did that, it was likely on shaky canonical ground. I suspect that conversation was about whether those things acted to fulfill the preceptual duty to attend Mass - I believe it's fairly universally held that they do *not* AND that, if the duty to attend is dispensed, you may choose to do those things but not in commutation of the duty because . . . the duty has been dispensed.
    Thanked by 4WGS chonak Olivier CCooze
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,610
    I think that the Bishop was actually talking about two distinct but related things:

    1) The precept of the Church to hear Mass on Sundays and days of obligation, from which the Bishop can issue a dispensation, and

    2) The Commandment to keep holy the Lord's Day, which cannot be dispensed.
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores BruceL
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    Yes, but prescribing a preceptual alternative to #1 under the aegis of #2 goes beyond the bishop's remit.
    Thanked by 2Andrew Malton CCooze
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 478
    You certainly are't doing #2 by doing #1.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    If the bishop wants to create a binding local precept to follow as a substitute for Mass attendance, he should issue a decree. And maybe get some expert advice about whether bishops have the authority to legislate in such a way. I don't claim to know.
  • Carol
    Posts: 577
    When the lock in/out began, I did watch Mass on TV, especially on Palm Sunday and Easter. Over time, I found that watching Mass on TV instead of attending Mass in person left me feeling very sad and isolated.

  • I heard a discussion on Catholic Radio, I don't recall which Bishop or diocese it was, but I heard that while he dispensed with the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, the Sunday Duty must still be fulfilled by reading the scriptures of the day, saying a rosary or watching a live streamed service, etc. So while, yes, one can stay home for health/safety reasons, Sunday is still the Lord's Day which must be observed in some way.


    Our priest recently addressed something similar; namely, that if you stayed home it was still necessary to keep holy the Sabbath. He also mentioned that you have no excuse not to come to Mass if you're willing to go out to eat at a restaurant... *drops mic*

    I was grateful he called out the hypocrisy.

    When the lock in/out began, I did watch Mass on TV, especially on Palm Sunday and Easter. Over time, I found that watching Mass on TV instead of attending Mass in person left me feeling very sad and isolated.


    There's no doubt that it's just not the same. I was just having a discussion with someone yesterday who was sharing how his faith really suffered during lockdown. The graces are not the same and the ardor in his heart grew weak while he was away from Mass. He could acutely sense it. I suspect he's not alone.
    Thanked by 3CCooze Elmar Carol
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,031
    Our bishop has an excellent letter which can be read here:

    https://bhmdiocese.org/documents/2020/8/Dispensation%20Decree%20English%208-19-2020%201.pdf
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    "He also mentioned that you have no excuse not to come to Mass if you're willing to go out to eat at a restaurant... *drops mic*"

    As someone who does not intend to eat out at a restaurant until an effective vaccine and therapeutics are available, there's a lot to this but it is a tad too glib for priest unless qualified. I would have said "in" a restaurant and similar contained situations. Even so, I find most dining outside arrangements I've seen too close for comfort given the duration of most meals, too, but I am aware that there are some where the owner has ample property to do much better distancing. And, on the flip side, there are small church interiors with poor ventilation. I've been attending Mass in a hyoodge space (that use to seat nearly 2,000 back in the day) with a renovated ventilation system, all hard surfaces that are easy to clean, and perhaps only ~70 attendees, and Mass is completed within roughly 45 minutes (with the Ordinary, psalm and antiphons sung by a cantor in the gallery). Density, ventilation, duration, levels of mixing of people who aren't regularly proximate, and viral loads are all important variables to consider, as well as magical thinking.
    Thanked by 2JL KARU27
  • Liam, dining IN is exactly what he meant. He didn't mean carryout or sitting in fresh air outdoors (although this could have been perceived as implied). The point is, if you're not willing to expose yourself at mass, you have no business eating without a mask on in close quarters in a restaurant. If you're willing to accept the latter risk, then the former concern is logically negated.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • BruceL, that IS an excellent letter. The fact that he also calls out some of the cultural hypocrisy and challenges (and reminds) people of their Easter duty and duty to keep holy the Sabbath... It's a much better decree than I've seen coming out of other dioceses.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 478
    I admit to enjoying 'speedy Mass' myself at times, but there's never a lack of excuses for it (no time for the asperges, no time for the propers, no time for all the verses, no time toschedule rehearsals in the church itself, no time to stay after for private devotion..). I'm very grateful to have the conditions at home for personal prayer that takes the time it takes. Not everyone has that. But I'm very pained by the way Holy Mass seems to serve as a ball in never ending game of how can we kick it this time?'. I suppose that only serves as proof of its sacredness and importance. If it didn't matter, the devil wouldn't bother.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,031
    BruceL, that IS an excellent letter. The fact that he also calls out some of the cultural hypocrisy and challenges (and reminds) people of their Easter duty and duty to keep holy the Sabbath... It's a much better decree than I've seen coming out of other dioceses.


    Bishop Raica seems eager to reconcile people (as were his predecessors here), but also realizes that the Gospel places gentle burdens on us! I think it's a great letter.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 180
    I suspect he's not alone.


    He’s not. It’s happened to me as well. To add to it, some severe family issues during lockdown have also served to weaken my faith.

    Those who know me, know I’ve been very consistant in chanting the LOTH daily except when actually prevented by circumstances, when I would read the Hour(s) instead.

    Even that has become a huge strain and I find myself just reading or skipping hours altogether.

    To get rid of my huge stress I’ve ridden my bike 6000 km and climbed over 80,000 metres on it this season. I’ve found God more easily in nature and the beautiful views I’ve seen than in the Church and her liturgy.

    Please pray for me and my family, we are far from being out of the woods.

    Ora
  • Carol
    Posts: 577
    Prayers for you and your family. You do seem to be quite stressed by your circumstances, but do not lose heart! God is with you!