Catholics must return to Sunday Mass, Bishops say

Mass ‘should not be seen as a burden’ Scottish bishops say, as they announce that the Sunday Obligation, along with Holydays of Obligation, will be reinstated from 2 January 2022.

This means that Catholics in Scotland, unless exempt, are once again required to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.

The Bishops of England and Wales have not yet re-instated the Obligation and neither have those in Ireland. As of the new year Scotland will be the only place in the United Kingdom where Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on a Sunday.

The change in Scotland was announced in a pastoral letter released this week stating that as more people are returning to church, ‘the Bishops of Scotland want to encourage all the Catholic faithful to renew their covenant with the Church and her worship.’

Whilst the obligation does not come into effect until the new year, the bishops strongly encourage the faithful to attend Mass on Christmas day, this year on a Saturday, followed by the Feast of the Holy Family on the Sunday ‘on both days, or at least once.’

However, those with ill health, symptoms of Covid, underlying health issues and caring responsibilities, or are otherwise impeded from attending, are exempt from the obligation.

The letter said: “Our current reflection on synodality points us in the same direction: we are a people who meet together because we journey together.

“Let us therefore use the coming Christian season to return, with purified hearts and fresh fervour, to our sacramental and liturgical life.”

The bishops stated that Mass ‘should not be seen as a burden’ and that Sunday Mass can ‘reinvigorate’ Christian faith and sense of community.

Read more in this Friday’s issue of The Scottish Catholic.

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