NATIONAL & DIOCESAN
16 July 2021
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Statement from the Catholic Bishops of England
“Sunday- It Is Our Day “
On 19th July, the current legislative powers which assist the mitigations against the Covid-19 virus transmission will be rescinded by HM Government. Nevertheless, there will be an encouragement to personal and corporate responsibility in this area; as the Prime Minister said in his most recent statement “The pandemic is not over.” Even without this legislation in place,
the Church in England and Wales will be adopting a cautious approach to capacity and activity within our buildings, especially at corporate acts of worship.
We are mindful of the certain fact that the Covid-19 virus is still circulating in society. Vaccines provide genuine protection against the worst effects of the virus, yet we recognise the legitimate fear on the part of some who otherwise desire to gather for Holy Mass. It is our continuing judgement, therefore, that it is not possible at the present time for all of the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday thus fulfilling their duty to God.
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 the celebration of the weekly Sunday Mass and to reflect deeply on the centrality of Sunday worship in the life of the Church.
In April, following our Plenary Assembly, we offered a reflection on the experience of the extraordinary long months of the pandemic. It was titled The Day of the Lord. We also began to look at the way forward. We spoke about the important invitation to restore the Sunday Mass to its rightful centrality in our lives. We asked for a rekindling in our hearts of a yearning for the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, as our response to the total, sacrificial love that Jesus has for us. We said: “The Eucharist should be the cause of our deepest joy, our highest manner of offering thanks to God and for seeking his mercy and love. We need to make it the foundation stone of our lives.”
May this continue to be our striving during these coming months as we journey back to the full celebration of our Sunday Mass and our renewed observance of The Day of the Lord.
Ref 1 St Jerome, In Die Dominica Paschae II
“Live-Streamed” Masses in East Anglia
An updated schedule of Masses that can be watched live on your computer has been published by the Diocese.
Dispensation from Easter Duties & Obligations
The Bishops of England and Wales have dispensed the Easter duties (reception of Holy Communion and celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation).
If you are currently unable to attend Mass or receive Communion, the faithful are encouraged to join in prayer with their priests who continue to offer the sacrifice of the Mass..
The use of the Spiritual Communion Prayer –posted here on the website – unites us in intention with the priest celebrating the Mass, as well as with many others who will be offering similar prayers.
Act of Perfect Contrition
The Bishops have asked that all should make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time – expressing true and real sorrow for sins, when we realise the immense love of God for us.
Contrition is expressed when we realise how we offended God by sinful words, deeds and omissions in contrast to his immeasurable love and mercy towards us.
The text of the recommended Act of Perfect Contrition is available by clicking here.
When Mass cannot be Attended
A leaflet has been produced to help us join in the celebration of Mass – even if we cannot be physically present.
It can be accessed from this link:- https://saintbenetsbeccles.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/when-mass-cannot-be-celebrated-publicly.pdf
Note that this document is written to be printed double-sided and folded to become a 4-page, A5 booklet – like our weekly missalettes.