The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on our daily lives, but through it all, Catholics have found ways—both conventional and unconventional—to practice their faith.
In a recent survey conducted by the Catholic Herald, 86% of respondents said they have attended Mass at least once since the pandemic began, with 44% attending weekly, 15% attending daily, and 26% going to Mass more than once, but not regularly.
Here are the results of the survey, in brief, with a few salient remarks from respondents from around the world.
I have regularly attended Mass when it was available but I am not receiving Holy Communion while wearing a mask is required.
For the 14% of those surveyed who had not attended in-person Mass, the main reason for not attending was that Mass had been cancelled (53%), with the second most common reason being the fear of getting sick (22%).
Charity demands caution. I am not going to go to Mass (except when the school I teach at goes) because I don’t want to infect people. Receiving the Eucharist is important, but it is only required once a year. I question whether someone has charity in their heart if they are unwilling to wear a mask to protect someone else. I wonder if people like that are being too selfish to be receiving our Lord in the state of grace.
Another interesting statistic shows that out of the 800 people surveyed, a whopping 91% of respondents said they had participated in Mass virtually—either online or on television—during the pandemic.
Virtual is OK as short term measure, but not the same as the interaction between humans. I miss the singing, I miss the social side of church life.
Meanwhile, the pandemic Grinch cannot steal Christmas for Catholics. Over 70% of those surveyed said they plan to attend mass on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Whether I attend on Christmas Eve will be dependent on the number of individuals wishing to attend and capacity limitations in place at that time.
Meanwhile, 52% of respondents disagreed with restrictions being put on places of worship by their governments, while 29% agreed somewhat the restrictions, and 19% ‘agreed.’
Initially closure made sense. Since then, they should have left well alone. But the bigger issue is not government closure but clerical abandonment – why wasn’t there benediction from the porch of every Catholic Church in the Spring? Confessions in the car park? Outdoor open-air Masses wherever and whenever possible? The pandemic has revealed how little such things mean to the faithful or their leaders.
The survey, conducted earlier this month by the Catholic Herald, polled 800 people who either read the Catholic Herald or follow the publication on social media. Sixty-four percent of respondents lived in the United Kingdom, 25% were based in the United States, and the other 11% hailed from countries around the globe, including China, New Zealand, Sweden, Brazil, Nigeria and more.
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