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Frequently Asked Questions

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced that, effective April 11, Divine Mercy Sunday, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days will be modified to be limited to the following groups:

  1. Those 65 years of age or older;
  2. Those at risk for severe illness due to underlying medical conditions as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  3. Those who care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed;
  4. Those women who are pregnant;
  5. Those who cannot be accommodated at Mass because the church was at safe-distancing capacity.

Those who fall into one of these categories are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass, but still must observe the third commandment, “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day,” by participating in a livestream broadcast of the Sunday Mass, spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, praying the Rosary, and/or meditating on the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection.

All other Catholics in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are once again obligated to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, effective with the liturgies for Divine Mercy Sunday April 11, beginning with the Saturday anticipated Masses the evening before.

But what if I am sick or may have come in contact with someone with a contagious illness like COVID-19?

Any person who is sick is automatically excused from Mass and does not require a dispensation. The following people are excused from the Mass obligation and are morally obliged not to attend Mass so as to avoid putting others at risk:

  1. Those who are currently ill;
  2. Those who have a fever or exhibit flu-like symptoms;
  3. Those who have good reason to think they might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., those who were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza).

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