What is a Dispensation from Mass?
A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop releases Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Mass). Since public Masses are cancelled in the Diocese of Buffalo until further notice, this means that if you live in the Diocese of Buffalo, the right thing to do is to stay home for your safety and the safety of others. Though there is a sadness for not being able to participate at Mass, one should not feel guilty for not going to Mass. You have a free conscience to stay home. Catholics are encouraged to offer up their sickness or pastoral care for the sake of those who are seriously ill and for those who have died.
What is Spiritual Communion? A way to be united with Christ when we cannot physically receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. It can be made at home or in church, in front of the Blessed Sacrament or not. St. Thomas Aquinas described Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.” Catholics are also encouraged to watch Mass online, resources can be found on our live stream page.
• Gather together with others in your household and begin a time of prayer with the sign of the cross.
• Take time to read and reflect upon the readings from Sunday Mass. (Readings can be accessed on USCCB)
• Create your own prayer or use a tradtional prayer to express to the Lord intentions quietly or aloud.
• Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
• Pray an act of spiritual communion.
• Close with the sign of the cross.
Stations of the Cross
• A locally produced Stations of the Cross with a guide for prayer and faith-sharing at home.
In the recorded playlist of stations, each station includes a scripture passage, visual “shadow” portrayal of the station, a reflection question, brief witness story from a teen or adult, and a prayer and sung refrain. These stations were celebrated at the Diocesan Youth Convention on February 29, 2020.
• A digital Stations of the Cross from Busted Halo.
• A traditional text of Stations of the Cross.
Liturgy of the Word Service for March 29, 2020
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Liturgy of the Word Service in the Home
Gather in a place that is comfortable for your family. Consider setting up a prayer space with a family Bible, candles, crucifix, and/or any other religious images or objects in your home. If you have never led prayer like this before, try to release your nervousness and discomfort and instead focus on the sure knowledge of God’s love and presence. If you are praying this with your family, try to include others in different roles (e.g. readers) as they are able and willing.
Charity and Care of Those Around Us
Check in on your friends and neighbours, offer help when you can. We can all still call, text or write emails and letters to those who are isolated or vulnerable.
We can pray for all of those impacted by COVID-19.
The Church depends on the generous offerings of our earthly treasure to continue the work of God. Online giving will be an important lifeline for parishes and the larger community while we are not able to attend Mass.
Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours is a way to pray the psalms while also marking and consecrating time. It allows us to pray in common, even when we cannot physically be together. In fact, it is called the Prayer of the Church. You can pray the Liturgy of the Hours by yourself or with others, anywhere or anytime that you have a few moments. Here are some resources to help you pray the Liturgy of the Hours:
On the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Apostolic Penitentiary granted a plenary indulgence to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, family members of those suffering from Coronavirus, health care workers caring for the sick, and to all members of the faithful. Since some of the usual conditions for plenary indulgences (namely, sacramental Confession and reception of the Eucharist) cannot be fulfilled immediately, the desire by the faithful o fulfill the conditions, as soon as possible, suffices for the granting of the indulgence.
How to Remain Spiritual Engaged in your own Home
FORMED.org Stream Catholic movies, programs, audio and books (Please contact your parish for access or enjoy a free trial for 7 days)
For Your Marriage with a Variety of Other Resources
Living with Christ is offering free prayer resources and downloads of the daily Mass texts
the WORD among us is providing complimentary access to the daily Mass readings and our entire website to help people pray from home.
Three Minute Retreat from Loyola Press
Weekly Home Lessons from Pflaum
"What Can Be Done with this Compelled Sabbath Moment" Video by Robert Barron
Catholic Charities of Buffalo