Sunday Mass obligation returns to every part of UK

The bishops of England and Wales are to re-introduce the Sunday obligation at Pentecost, months after it was restored in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The resolution was issued last week, in which the English bishops said the ‘reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply.’

The obligation was suspended due to the pandemic whilst many Catholics watched Mass online. The resolution states that the ‘Virtual viewing of Mass online does not fulfill the Sunday obligation’.

England and Wales are the last in the British Isles to reintroduce the obligation, which was reintroduced by the Scottish bishops on the First Sunday of Lent and the Irish bishops on Easter Sunday.

The reintroduction does not apply to those unable to attend Mass due to health concerns.

“We understand there will still be some members of our congregations who, for reasons of health, do not feel safe enough to return to Mass,” the letter reads.

“It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded for a serious reason, because of situation such as ill-health, care for the sick or legitimate fear, this is not a breach of the Sunday obligation.”

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