Summary of archbishops announcement: Extra Masses and no Sunday obligation as public worship resumes

The Sunday obligation will remain suspended and churches will be asked to continue livestreaming when public Masses resume in England on July 4, the country’s metropolitan archbishops have announced.

In a joint letter on the resumption of public Mass, the archbishops also encourage priests to say more weekend Masses so that as many people as possible can attend while maintaining social distancing and urge Catholics to consider attending Mass during the week in place of Sunday in order to ease the pressure on numbers.

In summary, the letter says:

⋅ The Sunday obligation remains suspended

⋅ Attendance at weekday Mass in place of Sunday Mass is encouraged

⋅ Priests should consider saying extra Masses at the weekend

⋅ There will be no congregational singing

⋅ Parishes should consider continuing livestreaming for those who cannot attend Mass in person

⋅ Those churches that cannot implement social distancing and sanitary requirements will remain closed

The letter also states that Mass “will be shorter than usual”.

The letter makes no mention whether Communion should be distributed in the hand only, as was before full closure.

“The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship,” the archbishops write.

“Our churches that have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning.”

“As we prepare to gather again to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.”