30 July 2020
My Dear People of God,
As a community of faith, we continue to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting our nation and our world. We have continued to monitor the situation and have hoped and prayed for progress. While there are signs of hope, there are also ongoing uncertainties and precautions we must take to ensure the health and wellbeing of all. Therefore, I am once again extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. While we anticipate maintaining this dispensation through the end of the calendar year, we will carefully monitor the situation and may modify the dispensation as circumstances warrant.
While we have successfully resumed in-person Masses at most of our parishes, I encourage those who are vulnerable, sick, or otherwise at risk or concerned about contracting or spreading disease, to refrain from attending Mass. Those who do choose to return to Mass should observe all guidelines concerning social distancing, diligent hygiene, and the use of facial coverings. We will be continuing to provide resources for growth in your life of Faith, and opportunities to watch celebrations of Mass online. Attending Mass on a weekday can also be a good way to participate in public worship in a smaller and more socially distanced setting.
My thoughts and prayers remain with you. Let us continue to pray for the swift conclusion to this time of crisis, and for the health and safety of all. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville