During this COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocese of Denver and its parishes have strived to balance taking reasonable precautions to protect public health and promote the common good, while also continuing to minister to the spiritual needs of the faithful and provide access to the Mass and other Sacraments.
DISPENSATION: All Catholics in the Archdiocese of Denver are currently dispensed from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation until May 23, 2021. However, public Masses are being offered at all parishes and Catholics who are healthy and without additional risk factors are encouraged to resume regular attendance, space permitting at their parish. More Info: Dispensation to be lifted May 23.
PARISH PROTOCOLS: The state of Colorado has classified places of worship as essential. Every pastor and parish will continue to take steps to ensure in-person Masses are celebrated in a safe manner. Attendance limits will be set by each pastor with respect to parish size, available facilities, and the ability to ensure proper distancing between families. Please check with your local parish for details on scheduling and other instructions.
ATTENDING MASS: Anyone who is sick, symptomatic, or has recently been exposed to the coronavirus should stay home as it is the moral duty of a Christian to safeguard the health of others.
Catholics are encouraged to examine their consciences to determine if they have serious reasons that prevent them from attending Sunday Mass. If not, they should be making an effort to attend in-person Mass when space permits at their parish.
Questions for Discernment:
- Do I have any health risk factors, or are there people who I live with or care for who have increased risk factors? Or, have I been using the dispensation simply as a reason to stay home?
- Is my willingness to go to Mass similar to my willingness to enter into other public spaces? Have I resumed other activities, but not attending Mass?
- Read: Dispensation: An Excuse to Skip Mass?
TV/ONLINE MASS: Catholics who aren’t able to go to Mass should continue to keep the Sabbath holy with intentional time in prayer including engagement in the readings for the day, which may be enhanced through watching a pre-recorded or livestreamed Mass and making a spiritual communion. TV Mass is available every Sunday on PBS12 at 6:30 a.m. in English and 7:00 a.m. in Spanish, and also on the Archdiocese of Denver YouTube page. Many parishes are providing online options as well.
VACCINES: Whether or not to be inoculated with a vaccine for COVID-19 is a personal healthcare decision. In a December letter to the faithful, the bishops of Colorado have affirmed that receiving certain COVID-19 vaccines is morally acceptable, and Archbishop Aquila has encouraged Catholics to prayerfully discern their own decision once eligible. For a simple analysis of the degree that abortion-derived cell lines were used in the testing, development, and/or production of the vaccines, a helpful comparison chart can be found here. No person should be required to get the vaccine, nor should inoculation be used as a requirement for participation or admittance in either public or church sponsored events. For more information on where vaccines are available in your area, Colorado has a county by county resource page.
SUPPORT YOUR PARISH: Your parish is still actively supporting the faithful and their communities in this challenging time of need. For parishes that don’t have an online giving option, the faithful can use this link to support the ministry of their parish. Or if you prefer, the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal supports forty archdiocesan-wide ministries including Catholic Charities, the Office of Catholic Schools, and Centro San Juan Diego. Thank you for your generosity.