Diocese of Rapid City to resume Sunday, Holy Day Mass obligations

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Diocese of Rapid City announced Friday the general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation will be reinstated effective Saturday, March 27.

“After much prayer and reflection, I have decided that the time has come to reinstitute the Obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Mass,” said Bishop Peter Muhich. “As your bishop I have a deep concern not only for your physical safety but also for your spiritual welfare.

In March 2020, the Diocese suspended the obligation due to COVID-19 concerns. With the general dispensation removed, the Diocese says there are still instances where the dispensation will continue. Those circumstances include:

  • You are ill or your health condition would be significantly compromised if you were to contract a communicable illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category).
  • You exhibit flu-like symptoms.
  • 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).
  • 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 infirm, 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 fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass. For questions about the application of any of these, please contact your pastor.

“Considering the grave obligation we have of being physically present with our brothers and sisters at Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation for the Eucharist, each of us is asked to make a good and sincere judgement as to whether these circumstances apply or not,” reads a statement from the Diocese. “Where doubt or confusion persists, consult any priest for clarity.”

Sunday mass will continue to air on NewsCenter1 both online and on Facebook. A one-hour service will air for Palm Sunday and Easter Masses.

“I am grateful that we have been able to use modern technology to broadcast Masses from our Cathedral and parish churches so that we could maintain as much connection with each other as possible during this past year,” said Muhich. “I want to thank our priests and deacons and many of you who have generously made those broadcasts possible. They have been, and are, a wonderful way for our sick and vulnerable brothers and sisters to be with us when gathering in person is not safe.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News