Advice concerning public Masses
I want to say that there are two important points to keep in mind as we talk about this.
The first is that I will continue to live-stream our Sunday 10 o’clock Mass, and also on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week.
The second important point is that there is still no obligation to attend Mass on the Lord’s Day. This obligation was suspended in March and it will continue to be suspended for quite some time.
Therefore, for all of you, the ‘new normal’ will continue to be Mass in your own house, watching and taking part in our live-streamed Mass.
Many of you have written to me over the period and told me how much comfort and strength you gain from this. Many of you have also told me recently that you are very happy at present to continue with Mass in this way, and I’m pleased about that.
In conclusion, in my 48 years as a priest I’ve always encouraged you to come to church. At present, I cannot. Coming into a public space means the virus can be contracted. Many of our congregation are in groups who should not be coming out to church.
I hear the First Minister and government ministers say that “easing restrictions means greater risk of spreading the virus and we mess with that at our peril. Being indoors with a group of people and for a prolonged period significantly increases the risk.”
I look forward to and pray for the time when it is safe for us all to come back as normal. In the meantime, we pray that the Lord will continue to bless us as church and to teach us how ‘to be church’ in the ‘new normal.’ We should all think and pray about that at this time. Even when we are apart we can stay united both in communion, in prayer and in our concern for one another.
God bless you.