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A 2023 poll showed that 41 per cent of Catholics in Ireland who attended Sunday Mass before COVID-19 no longer did so (Bigstock)

Concern that attendances at Mass have not returned to pre-pandemic levels has prompted the Irish bishops to prepare a special pastoral letter on Sunday Mass. Source: The Tablet.

The pastoral letter will be issued next year, with resources. It aims to “help achieve a greater appreciation of Sunday, knowing that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our spiritual and pastoral life”, the bishops said.

Following their winter general meeting in Maynooth, the bishops described Sunday Mass as “the very heartbeat of the Church and of our personal faith”.

In their statement, they acknowledged that while some may have drifted away from regular attendance of Mass, others have developed the habit of watching online instead of joining the community in person.

They appealed to families and individuals who are able to do so to return to Mass for Christmas and the New Year, “knowing the importance of the Sunday gathering in the life of our parishes”.

Earlier this year, a poll carried out by Amárach Research showed that 41 per cent of Catholics who attended Sunday Mass before COVID-19 no longer did so.

The poll of 1500 adults in Ireland found that just 59 per cent of Catholics who went to weekly Mass before COVID struck had returned to regular Mass attendance.

However, 31 per cent of those who used to attend Mass regularly but had not returned said their faith “isn’t as strong” since the pandemic.


Bishops plan pastoral letter to urge return to Mass (By Sarah Mac Donald, The Tablet)