Rorate Caeli

Washington, DC, pontifical high Mass postponed

In November of last year we announced details for a pontifical High Mass that was to be celebrated next month at the basilica shrine in Washington, D.C.  Alas, things have changed a bit in the world since then.

The Mass, sponsored by the Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy, will be postponed. Instead of 22 August 2020, the pontifical Mass to be offered by Archbishop Thomas Gullickson will be celebrated on 14 August 2021, in the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  Although the basilica shrine, the largest church in North America, holds several thousand people, current coronavirus restrictions in place by the mayor of Washington limit occupancy to 100 people, making any major liturgical planning a great challenge this year.

Assuming restrictions will be lifted by 14 August 2021, the Mass will be the violet vestment vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on the Church's liturgical calendar that can be traced to at least the seventh century with a fast (eliminated after Vatican II) in preparation for the feast of the glorious Assumption on the 15th.  The rescheduled time will likely be in the early afternoon on 14 August 2021.  Additional details will be announced over the next year.