Archdiocese announces decree dispensing Catholics from Easter obligations

By Chicago Catholic
Sunday, April 5, 2020

The attached decree was issued by Cardinal Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, to dispense Catholics from Easter obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Catholics are obligated to receive Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation during the Easter season which runs from Easter Sunday to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  


Mindful that a pandemic has created a worldwide health risk for the People of God; and

Mindful that the most knowledgeable medical professionals have advised that hygiene practices and “social isolation” are currently the most effective means of preventing the continuing spread of the Covid-19 virus and in compliance with the State of Illinois Stay-At-Home Directive; and

Mindful that the gathering of people for the celebration of liturgies places all present at the risk for transmission and/or infection from this virus; and

Mindful that, effective 14 March 2020, by virtue of Canons 85 and 87 of the Code of Canon Law (1983), the celebration of all public liturgies have been suspended in the Archdiocese of Chicago until such liturgies can be celebrated without serious risk to the health, safety and welfare of all participants; and

Mindful that pursuant to Canon 920 of the Code of Canon Law (1983) each of the faithful is obligated to receive Holy Communion during the Easter season;

THEREFORE, know that I, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, after consultation with public health professionals and in consideration of the ongoing serious health risk to the People of God, I now decree the following:

That the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the Easter season is removed this year due to the impossibility of attendance by the People of God at celebration of Holy Mass.

That each of the faithful initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist is encouraged to offer an Act of Spiritual Communion, in union with the entire People of God in the Archdiocese and throughout the world in this time of stress and difficulty.

That all of the faithful, in accord with the Tradition and Teaching of the Church, are urged to offer a perfect Act of Contrition, in complete dependence upon the mercy and love of God, in sorrow for all sins and with a firm resolve to confess all serious sin at the next available time.

Given this Palm Sunday, the 5th day of April, A.D. 2020


  • cardinal cupich
  • coronavirus

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