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Obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be reinstated effective June 26 for Diocese of Wilmington

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The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days will be reinstated effective June 26. The dispensation was issued March 13, 2020. Dialog file photo

WILMINGTON — Bishop Malooly, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Wilmington, has lifted the dispensation, and the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses will be reinstated effective June 26. The announcement was made June 2 as part of a joint statement from the bishops of the Province of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

The dispensation, which went into effect on March 13, 2020, was put in place to help limit the spread of coronavirus and to allow the Diocese of Wilmington to conform to guidelines and regulations adopted by the states of Delaware and Maryland.

According to the statement, the bishops decided to lift the dispensation because the average number of “new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline due to the observance of safety protocols and the increase of the availability of the vaccine.” The obligation does not apply to those who are ill, have been exposed to the virus, or have any serious underlying health conditions.

“We welcome and encourage the faithful to return to full in-person participation of the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith,” the bishops said in the statement. “Let us continue to be united in prayer for one another and for an end to the global pandemic.”

The Province of Baltimore includes the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the dioceses of Arlington (Va.), Richmond (Va.), Wheeling Charleston (W.Va.) and Wilmington. The statement is available in its entirety at www.cdow.org/coronavirus.