Archdiocese of Denver Statement on Cancellation of Public Masses

March 13, 2020

Denver – Following the order by Governor Jared Polis to cancel all public gatherings of 250 or more people to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and acting on the advice of the leading health experts, the bishops of the three Catholic dioceses in Colorado have announced that all Catholic Churches in Colorado will not celebrate public Masses until further notice. This decision is effective immediately.

It a time like this, when Mass is unavailable, the Catholic faithful are dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation.

While we know that some will not agree with this decision, we have determined that it is our responsibility to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help protect those who are most vulnerable to adverse health complications, especially the elderly. We have seen the evidence where taking precautionary action early has led to far better outcomes for a region.

The sacrifice of the Holy Mass will continue in private, but its public celebration will be suspended until it is deemed safe to hold large community gatherings. We ask all of the faithful to continue to keep the Lord’s Day holy and to join their sacrifices to the Mass from their homes.

Because the governor gave his order on Friday, we had to act quickly to make the decision for this weekend. There are still details that need to be worked out for how we will operate over the next several weeks, but as of now:

  • Parish offices will remain open, but most parish events will be canceled.
  • Opportunities for private prayer will be made available in our churches.
  • Funerals and Weddings can be celebrated with a reduced number of people. Efforts will be made for groups of people to be spaced out by the recommended 6 feet of separation.
  • Priests will do their best to accommodate increased requests for the Sacraments of Healing (Penance and Anointing of the Sick).

A TV Mass for the home-bound is already available every Sunday at 6:30 am (English) and 7:00 am (Spanish) on PBS 12. We will also be uploading recorded Masses on our website and Youtube channel.

More information, resources and continued updates are available at https://www.archden.org.

Finally, we offer our prayers for those suffering from the virus, for those in the medical profession, for our government leaders, and to seek the intervention of our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph to bring a rapid end to the virus.