Statement of New Jersey Bishops

Reinstating the General Obligation to Attend Mass

Photo by Margarita Macalintal

At this time, due to the observance of public safety protocols and the increase in the availability of vaccines, we have begun a return to some sense of normalcy in various sectors of our society.

Therefore, we the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey, are lifting the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Days Mass obligation beginning on Saturday, June 5, 2021, and Sunday, June 6, 2021, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. We welcome the Christian faithful to return to the regular participation in the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith (cf. Code of Canon Law canon 1247 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2180).

This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus or another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions. One should consult the local pastor if questions arise about the obligation to attend Mass (canon 87).

Finally, safety protocols (such as wearing masks, social distancing, etc.) and liturgical directives (communion in the hand, communion under one species, etc.) in each New Jersey Diocese remains in place until modified or revoked by the respective Diocesan Bishop.

Given on May 20, 2021, the memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark

Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop, Diocese of Trenton

Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan
Bishop, Diocese of Camden

Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney
Bishop, Diocese of Paterson

Most Reverend James F. Checchio
Bishop, Diocese of Metuchen

Most Reverend Kurt Burnette
Bishop, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic

Most Reverend Yousif B. Habash
Bishop, Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese