A Spiritual Communion in the Absence of Mass

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public celebration of Mass has been suspended throughout many Dioceses in the United States. Many of the faithful, particularly families with children at home, desire to fulfill their duty to God and the Third Commandment in keeping holy the Lord’s Day even in the absence of Mass; but there is little guidance on how or what to do.

This document (Este documento) is intended to serve as a guide for the spiritual father or head of the family to maintain contact with our ancient liturgical traditions in communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world today. While it should be made clear, especially to younger children, that this is not the Mass – it is intended to connect us to what is familiar in a paraliturgical manner while in these extraordinary circumstances. This guide was approved for use by the USCCB in a March 20, 2020 email.

Gather your family together; it can be around the kitchen table, in the family room, out on a porch or deck. Encourage them to remember that this is a time to rest; to give thanks to God for His love for us in Jesus Christ, and to ask him to heal our world so that we can again join with our neighbors in celebrating the Mass, the Paschal Mystery, and the source and summit of our faith.

Please note: Part of the following paraliturgy draws from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2012 and other rites of the Catholic Church.

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