A decision has been reached regarding the date for the lifting of the dispensation of the faithful to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski is lifting the dispensation as of July 1, 2021.
We understand that these continue to be uncertain times for everyone, and we want all to feel safe returning to Mass. Please note that parishioners who are sick, homebound, immunocompromised and gravely concerned for their health retain the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass, which has always been the case in normal times. Delivering the message that the aforementioned individuals retain the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will be of utmost importance in the communication process at each parish in this transitional period. For the remaining faithful, parish pastors should be prepared to discuss the safety measures in place and address any concerns they may have upon returning to Mass in person.
Additionally, the safe return of choirs, Holy Water in the Holy Water fonts, hymnals and missalettes in the pews and the usage of offertory baskets is now at the discretion of the pastor of each parish. The distribution of the Chalice of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion remains prohibited until further notice from the USCCB.
As a reminder, the archdiocese recommends that individuals who have not received a vaccine should follow CDC guidelines. We ask that they be thoughtful of their own health and that of their community in monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms related to the use of masks and when it comes to social distancing.
Masks remain optional for those who are fully vaccinated. Capacity restrictions and social-distancing measures at archdiocesan parishes are being determined by the parish pastor based on the size and construct of the parish, and what is needed to provide for the safest possible environment. This information will be updated on the archdiocesan website.