Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Bishop Knestout Grants Dispensation Regarding Mass for Specific Individuals

March 12, 2020

Until further notice, Bishop Knestout has granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days to the following persons most susceptible to the effects of the Corona virus/COVID 19: those 60 years of age or older; those with chronic illness; and those with immune system deficiencies. The dispensation is also extended to those caring for people who are presently ill or who  assist those in the three groups indicated.

While nothing can replace attendance at Mass and receiving Holy Communion, those already dispensed because of illness or (in addition) for the reasons given above have not committed a mortal sin. Those who refrain from attending Mass should, if possible, devote an hour to prayer on Sunday, observe Mass on television or on-line, or by praying the Rosary or some of the Liturgy of the Hours. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy in these ways demonstrates a genuine desire for holiness and a sincerity of heart.

Those exempted should check regularly with their parish or on the diocesan website for updates in the present health emergency.