PARTICULAR DISPENSATION INFORMATION
The general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (including the Vigil Mass at 4:00 pm or later on the previous day) is to be reinstated in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, effective Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Considering the necessity of being physically present with our brothers and sisters at Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation for the Eucharist, Bishop Gregory Parkes asks Catholics to make a sincere judgment about whether or not these circumstances apply. If there is doubt or confusion, consult your parish pastor for clarity.
While the general dispensation is removed, there are specific instances where the dispensation will continue. One does not have an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday in the following circumstances:
- You are ill, or your health condition would be significantly compromised if you were to contract an infectious illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
- You exhibit flu-like symptoms. Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
- You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.
- You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.
- You are pregnant.
- Those 65 years of age or older (per the CDC's recommendation of high-risk individuals).
- You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered, you are infirmed, or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control (e.g., your ride did not show up, the church was at capacity).
- If you have significant and reasonable fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.
These categories will be reviewed in due course and revised as needed.
Those who do not attend Mass must still observe the Lord’s Day and are encouraged to spend time in prayer on Sunday, meditating on the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection; an excellent way to do this is through participating in a broadcast/live stream of the Sunday Mass.