Coronavirus Advisory from Bishop Boyea, April 4, 2020
Suspension of Public Masses Update
Based on the current circumstances and with a profound desire to protect the health and well-being of all, Bishop Boyea has discerned that the current suspension of all public Masses and the liturgical directives that he established on March 17, 2020 should remain in place through April 30, 2020.
While the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Holy Matrimony, and Funeral liturgies will continue as previously directed, the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation will not take place until the suspension is lifted. Possible rescheduling scenarios are being considered.
These determinations were made based upon the most recent directives and guidelines from government officials and health care experts to extend the time period for social distancing in a continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The decision to prolong the suspension of public Masses was not made lightly, but out of a fervent desire to protect the health and well-being of clergy, religious, and laity, but especially the most vulnerable.
In this time of suffering and uncertainty, Bishop Boyea has called “all Catholics and, indeed, all people within the Diocese of Lansing” to prayer, fasting, and works of mercy, imploring the Lord to bring an end to this pandemic. As we unite under the “divine mandate to fast and pray when threatened by the powers of darkness (cf. Mt 17:21),” let us entrust ourselves to the Lord, who is rich in mercy.
Many have inquired regarding how this will impact the “Easter duty” of Catholics to “receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season” and the obligation to “confess your sins at least once a year” (CCC 2042). While the basic requirement of the Church is for all Catholics to “confess…grave sins at least once a year” (CIC 989), it is not essential that this take place during Lent. And, while the “Easter duty” of receiving the Holy Eucharist should be done during the Easter season, the Code of Canon Law specifies that “for a just cause” this obligation can be fulfilled “at another time during the year” (CIC 920, §2). Protecting the health and well-being of the most vulnerable in a time of global pandemic is certainly such a just cause.
For up-to-date information about the Diocese of Lansing’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.dioceseoflansing.org/coronavirus.
Please continue to share this website with your parish communities.
Sincerely in Christ,
Director of Worship
Coronavirus Advisory from Bishop Boyea, March 17, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
After consultation with the priests of the diocese, who were of mixed minds on this matter, and out of deep concern for the health of all our folks especially our elders, and with due deference to medical and government authorities, it has been decided that all public Masses, events, and gatherings will be cancelled throughout the Diocese of Lansing beginning tomorrow morning (March 18, 2020) lasting, for now, through Wednesday of Holy Week (April 8, 2020). We will see at that time whether these plans will have to change.
Private Baptisms, Marriages, and Funerals may continue but only with immediate family present. As a reminder, all Catholics in the diocese are dispensed from the obligation of Sunday Mass participation through Easter Sunday. I ask our pastors to keep Churches open for private prayer.
The Holy Mass is our way to render back to God our worship and thanks for his many blessings to and for us, his beloved sons and daughters. We are blessed that all our priests will continue to offer daily private Masses in order to fulfill our blessed duty to God and to lift up our needs in prayerful petition to our Heavenly Father. Many of these daily Masses have intentions applied to them and those will be honored; in addition, feel free to submit other needs to your pastors to include at the altar.
The loss of the regular reception of Holy Communion is a great cross for many; during this fast from receiving our Lord in the Eucharist please pray that Jesus will enter your hearts in an act of Spiritual Communion. As for Sunday, they have always been a day of worship for us. Please, let these coming Sundays be times of family prayer.
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for Us.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, Pray for Us.
Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, Pray for Us.
Assuring of my prayers, I am sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing