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Why did the Archdiocese of Detroit decide to resume public Masses during the state’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order?
We are very purposefully aligning ourselves with the gradual reopening of the rest of society. As more and more businesses begin to reopen with prudent safety measures in place, we’re making similar arrangements to allow for the safe return of public Masses, which at its core is the most “essential” activity in the world.
The most recent Stay Home order includes an exemption for places of worship and people traveling to/from places of worship, in that there is no penalty under the Order for engaging in these important activities. We are very appreciative of this acknowledgement that religious services are essential to so many members of the public.
We recognize that it is only through our careful observance of appropriate precautions that we make it possible to safely resume public Mass. To that end, we have distributed to our pastors and the faithful an exhaustive list of health and safety guidelines for parishes to follow, bringing us into alignment with the precautions in the Order and many best practices of other businesses operating during this time.
Importantly, Archbishop Vigneron has confirmed that all the faithful in southeast Michigan will remain dispensed from their obligation to attend Mass through at least Sept. 6. This dispensation began in March when public Masses were first suspended and has been extended in an effort to ease capacity at in-person Masses and also so that we would not be obligating that anyone leave their home for Mass if they do not wish to do so at this time.