Bishop Kevin Vann lifts dispensation for attending Mass during pandemic

By Monsignor Stephen Doktorczyk     6/11/2021

The word “dispensation” can have varied meanings. One definition of dispensation is “the relaxation of a merely ecclesiastical law in a particular case” according to canon 85 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. The dispensation question is often raised when St. Patrick’s Day, which always takes place during Lent, falls on a Friday. Since abstinence from meat on Fridays (outside of when a solemnity falls on a Friday) (canon 1251) is an ecclesiastical (Church) and not a divine law, a bishop or another with executive authority may relax the law in such a case. He could add the contingency that if one decides to have corned beef on Friday, March 17, he is to refrain from meat on another day.  

When the seriousness of the coronavirus became known, it seemed fitting to excuse certain people who could be at high risk of contracting COVID-19 from being physically present at Mass. But it is important to point out a distinction perhaps not evident to everyone. It is the Third Commandment of the Decalogue that requires us to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Canon 1247 states that “on Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in Mass.” It is the Church, then, that tells us how to keep holy the Lord’s day (Sunday). I might add that the same canon states that the faithful “are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.” Therefore, how to keep holy the day of the Lord is prescribed by the Church, and, as a result, competent ecclesiastical authority may dispense from the requirement in certain cases, according to the good judgment of the same authority. This is why the faithful were instructed that, if attending Mass in person was not advisable in their particular situation, they could pray the Rosary, read Scripture for 30 minutes, watch the Mass on television or via live-streaming, and the like. 

With the subsiding of the coronavirus threat and high vaccination rates in Orange County, people should now feel safe returning to Holy Mass in person. The need for a general dispensation has come to an end, and, effective June 12, 2021, it will no longer be in effect. That being said, it is understood that no one is held to the impossible. Someone who is unable to get out of bed, for example, is not expected to be physically present at Mass. Such a one would in no way commit a sin by absenting him or herself from being present at Holy Mass. Likewise, someone who is sick might even have the obligation to stay away from Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation.  

What if someone has a significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass, for example, those who for good reason have not received the COVID vaccine?  Such persons should speak to their pastor, who may grant a dispensation in individual cases per canon 1245 of the Code of Canon Law. Such a one is still held to keep holy the Lord’s day in other ways, of course. 

“The Supreme Law is the salvation of souls,” according to canon 1752. The Church does not want to be too onerous in its approach nor too lax. May everything we do be directed towards our eternal salvation and that of others.   

Ash Wednesday Schedule – 02/17/2021


Ash Wednesday is on February 17th, 2021.

Our Ash Wednesday schedule for this year will be as follows (all services will be on the Church Plaza):

8:30 AM – Mass and distribution of ashes
12:00 Noon – Liturgy of the Word and distribution of ashes
4:00 PM – Children’s Liturgy of the Word and distribution of ashes
6:30 PM – Mass and distribution of ashes

We hope to see you here!

National Prayer Vigil for Life at Holy Trinity, Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Holy Trinity Plaza

On Thursday, January 28th, we will be participating in the National Prayer Vigil for Life. Please join us on the plaza for a Rosary at 5pm followed by Mass at 5:30pm. Following Mass we will have adoration until 8pm. We hope to see you here.

A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. —Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

Christmas Mass Schedule – 2020

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Mass
“No matter how you celebrate Mass with us, at Holy Trinity you are home.” – Father Michael
Christmas Eve Mass
4:00pm, Livestream, Plaza, & Parking Lot FM 96.9
6:00pm, 8:00pm, Plaza & Parking Lot FM 96.9
Christmas Day Mass
9:00am, Livestream, Plaza, & Parking Lot FM 96.9
11:00am, Plaza & Parking Lot FM 96.9
Celebrate Mass with us in your car from the Holy Trinity parking lot. Tune your radio dial to: FM 96.9
Now available at every Mass!

For the safety of all parishioners, especially our most vulnerable,

please adhere to the following protocol:

  – Wear a mask

– Maintain a safe distance of 6ft

– Bring your own chair 

– Use hand sanitizer when arriving & before receiving communion

These are the safety protocols that allow us continue Mass. 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!  

The entire staff of Holy Trinity wishes everyone a Blessed Christmas.

Drive-Through Communion (begins Sunday 11/29/20)

We are excited to announce that we will be offering drive-through communion for those individuals who are watching livestream Mass in the morning on Sundays. The communion service will be a drive-through and take place between the hours of 2pm and 2:30pm on Sundays starting on November 29, 2020.

Please refer to the attached documents for more information/directions as well as a traffic map.

Instructions for Drive-Through Communion _ HT _ final

COVID 19 Mass Updates

As some of you may have heard at Masses this past weekend, we had been planning to move Sunday Masses into the church this coming weekend in celebration of the Feast of Christ the King. Unfortunately, we are now unable to do so due to Orange County moving back into the purple tier on the State of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Once the county moves back to the red tier we will re-assess the ability to move back into the church for Mass with a capacity of 100 people.
Effective tomorrow, the weekday 8:30AM Mass that has been inside the church will move back to being held in the courtyard between the parish hall and the parish office. Beginning this weekend, the confirmation and middle school classes that have been held in the hall the past couple of weeks will also move back into the courtyard between the parish hall and the parish office. Any other planned liturgical celebrations (baptisms, funerals, weddings) will be held outside until further notice.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel will remain open for personal prayer – Monday-Friday from 9AM-3PM.