May 18, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The great feast of Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the life of the Church through the Apostles, the disciples, and with Mary, the mother of our Lord, who were gathered in the upper room “constantly devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:12-14). This gathering for worship is necessary for our identity as disciples of Christ.
In March of 2020, the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories issued in their respective dioceses a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation to provide the faithful the freedom to choose and not be obligated to participate in large liturgical gatherings and thus to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the time of the global pandemic.
Now, at this stage where the necessity for health and safety restrictions has been relaxed, a return to in-person gatherings on Sundays as a worshipping community is necessary for our continued spiritual nourishment and growth. Therefore, the Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories in their respective dioceses will be lifting the dispensation on Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022.
While acknowledging the continuing presence of COVID-19 in our midst, the decree restoring the Sunday obligation will continue to provide the exemption for those who are ill, vulnerable and those providing direct care for them, and those who cannot attend Mass because of frailty or old age.
Our sacred duty to worship God on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation orients our personal freedom to the worship and service of God. May the feast of Pentecost inspire us to constantly devote ourselves to prayer especially in the highest form of our worship of God in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
✠ William T. McGrattan
Bishop of Calgary