Return to Mass next week – if it’s safe to do so!

It may not be possible for all Catholics in England to return to Sunday Mass following the relaxation of Covid legislation.

The rules end on Monday (19 July), in England. While, in Wales, most rules stay in force until 7 August.

However, the bishops of England & Wales have called for “a cautious approach…especially at corporate acts of worship.”

The bishops recognise the “legitimate fear” of some who would like to gather for Mass. And they say: “It is hoped that it will be possible for all Catholics in England and Wales to fulfil this most important Church precept, that of the Sunday Obligation, by the First Sunday in Advent 2021.”

In the meantime, all Catholics are asked to do their best to participate in a weekly celebration of Mass.

Indoor congregational singing is now allowed. However, it should be phased in gently as part of worship over the summer period. And face coverings should be worn by the congregation whilst singing together, until infection levels reduce.

While the weekly collection can be taken using baskets or bags, the bishops guidance advises parishes accept online payments.

Communion will continue to be distributed under one kind and the ministers must sanitise their hands beforehand and wear a face.

• In Liverpool Archdiocese, the communion procession has been restored to its traditional place. Throughout the pandemic, Communion has been distributed at the end of the Mass as the congregation is leaving.

In a statement to priests, Liverpool's Vicar for Pastoral Development, Fr Philip Inch, said, “The pandemic is far from over. It is not the intention to restore an obligation to the attendance at Sunday Mass at this point.

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