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.

COMING UP: Reencounter Community: Mass dispensation to be lifted on Pentecost

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It feels as though we’re all emerging from a fog – a COVID cocoon, as it were. Over the past year, we’ve all spent most of our days at home, doing pretty much everything remotely and keeping our social circles small.

Thanks be to God, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will soon be able to gather again in the communities we know and love. Community is an important aspect of life – nobody should ever be alone – but it is particularly crucial in the Christian life. As Archbishop Aquila recalls in this week’s Easter reflection, Jesus was very clear about how Christian communities ought to gather: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (Jn 15:5). Each individual Christian is a smaller part of a greater whole, the whole being Christ and his Church.

“Without me, you can do nothing,” Jesus continues. In a very poignant sort of way, we have been without Jesus over the past year. Yes, he is always present with us, but we’ve not had the opportunity to gather with our brothers and sisters in the faith at Mass each and receive him in the Eucharist. On May 23, we will be able gather once more with our parish communities and participate in the mystery of the Eucharist together, just as it was intended.

Below are a few articles which will hopefully serve as a reminder of the power of the Eucharist, the joy of community and the excitement of being able to gather together at the foot of the altar as one body in Christ once more.

Preparing to, once again, partake in the mystery of the Eucharist

Rediscovering Eucharistic amazement

Despite no Masses, you won’t believe what parishes are doing

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