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Reencounter the Real Presence: Mass dispensation to be lifted on Pentecost

Have you ever wondered why Catholic Churches don’t regularly livestream Masses? It seems like a no-brainer in this day and age, and the pandemic has driven home the convenience of being able to watch Mass from the comfort of your own couch; it’s a much less stressful alternative to the mad rush of loading the family in the car on Sunday morning and walking into Mass 10 minutes late.

The easy answer, of course, is that all Catholics are obligated by the Church to attend Mass every week – this is certainly true, and it will be the case once more come May 23 in the Archdiocese of Denver. However, a better way of looking at it is this: watching Mass from home isn’t nearly as good as the real thing. Think about all the times we’ve been forced to FaceTime or Zoom with our loved ones over the past year because it wasn’t safe to gather face-to-face. Wouldn’t you have given anything to reach through that screen and give a hug?

If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s the simple fact that physical presence is always better than non-physical. Humans were created not for virtual bubbles but for real, tangible and in-the-flesh spaces, and frankly, there’s no space that matches that description more perfectly than the Church. At Mass, we experience not only the real presence of our brothers and sisters who are there worshiping alongside us, but also the Real Presence of Christ himself in the Eucharist.

We can’t wait until we are all able to be in the real presence of each other at the Mass once more on Pentecost, when the Mass dispensation is lifted. In the meantime, click the links below to see why it’s so much better to attend Mass in-person and re-familiarize yourself with the miraculous mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.

WATCH: Three reasons to attend Mass in-person

The Eucharist throughout history: A timeline

In the flesh: A doubting monk and the Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano

For more information about the return to Mass, visit archden.org/return.

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