Dear Fathers and Parishioners of the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan,
In March of 2020, the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories issued for the people of their respective dioceses a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation. We did this with the intent of safeguarding the health and well-being of the faithful in the midst of the global pandemic. The dispensation gave to our faithful the freedom to choose not to participate in person in large liturgical gatherings, and thus help to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
With the significant lessening in recent months of pandemic danger both provincially and globally, we are now at a stage where the dispensation can no longer be justified. Accordingly, the Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories will lift the dispensation as of Pentecost Sunday 5 June 2022.
At the same time, on Pentecost Sunday 5 June 2022, I ask all parishes to cease live-streaming your regular Masses and other liturgies. Those persons who are house-bound have other options on television or the Internet for Mass for Shut-ins.
Participation in Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation is a duty that is at once sacred and joyful. It springs from the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day. In the Christian tradition, the Sabbath is Sunday, when we celebrate with joy the victory of the Risen Christ over death. Regular celebration of Sunday Mass gives to our lives right order, since it places the worship of God before all else and orients us toward our ultimate destiny in Christ.
With you, we rejoice in the return to gathering in person to worship God at Sunday Mass, and to living the Sabbath fully with our parish community, family, and friends. It is our hope that the fulfillment of our sacred duty to worship God on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will spur us along the path of spiritual renewal.
May the celebration of Pentecost Sunday inspire us to rejoice in worshipping the Lord always. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
Sincerely yours in Christ the Redeemer,
Most Rev. Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan