Masses on Sundays cancelled in Mangaluru Diocese due to reimposed lock-down
Mangaluru: The bishop of Mangaluru diocese Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha has advised parishes in the diocese not to celebrate Holy Masses on Sundays in the context of the reimposed state-wide lock-down on Sundays.
The bishop has said in a circular “The Karnataka government has issued an order re-imposing lock-down on Sundays beginning from July 5, 2020 until August 2, 2020. This means, no activity other than essential services and supplies is allowed. This situation affects our celebration of Sunday Masses. And, we don’t know for how long”. In this context, following theological reflections and pastoral provisions/measures are in order:
While the lock-down on Sundays prevents people from participating in the Sunday Mass, they can fulfil the Sunday obligation by participating in Masses on Saturday held after 4.00 p.m. Hence Parish Priests can arrange to have more than one Mass on Saturday evenings taking into account the convenience of the people.
Because of the restriction of space in the church and social distancing, it may not be possible to accommodate at Mass all those who are not prevented from participating in it. Therefore, as a matter of exception in these difficult circumstances, in the diocese of Mangaluru, I permit the Parish Priests to have Masses with Sunday Liturgy – Sunday Proper, Readings, homily, prayer of the faithful, etc on Friday evenings after 4.00 p.m. This provision can be used only when lock-down is mandated on Sunday. This permission cannot be extended to other days and other times.
This pastoral response of having Friday evening Masses with Sunday Liturgy is a temporary measure (an exception)made by the Bishop for the benefit of those Catholics who find it impossible to attend Mass on Saturday evening considering that they should not be deprived of the riches offered in the Sunday liturgy. On other days and times, Masses are to be celebrated as indicated in the Liturgical Ordo. The faithful can draw immense spiritual benefit by participating in weekday Masses celebrated without Sunday liturgy.
Bearing in mind the increasing number of cases of COVID-19, containment zones in and around parishes, and taking into account the different context and situation experienced in diverse geographical areas, Parish Priests are granted permission to decide about having or not having Masses in their respective parishes in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council and COVID-19 Safety Committee. In case, they decide not to have Masses for a short period of time in their parish church, they should apply the same principles for weddings, funerals and other occasions.