Stage 3 Reopening begins on Thursday, July 1, 2021
- Masks continue to be mandatory in cities/municipalities where the face coverings bylaw remains in effect. Please check with your city/municipality.
- People are asked to exercise charity and kindness in respecting the comfort level of people regarding physical distancing, physical contact, cohorts, and other considerations. Please do not force people to sit closely with others. Let people decide for themselves.
- The decision of individuals on vaccination should be treated with sensitivity and respect as it is a personal decision and must be treated as private and confidential.
- Registration for Mass and contact tracing are no longer required. Entrance and exit doors no longer need to be assigned.
- Promote proper hand hygiene by having hand washing/sanitizing posters visible and placing hand sanitizer stations in convenient and accessible locations.
- Make every effort to encourage respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in a lined garbage bin).
- All pews are available for the use of the congregation.
- Pews no longer need to be sanitized after each Mass. However, it is a good practice to continue to regularly clean and disinfect high-touch/shared surfaces, such as: Doorknobs or door panic bars and handles, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and taps, elevator buttons, railings, etc.
- The distribution of printed parish bulletins may now resume.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues at this time.
There is no capacity limit for in-person attendance.
Parishes that have livestreaming capabilities are encouraged to continue with livestreaming Masses for those who are not comfortable with returning to Mass in person.
Servers, lectors, ushers, sacristans may resume their liturgical ministries.
The liturgical function of deacons as indicated in par. 171-186 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) has fully resumed.
The liturgical procession before and after Mass may resume.
The use of the Book of Gospels may resume.
The offertory procession will not resume at this time to avoid unnecessary contact with the vessels. Its resumption will be decided by the end of August 2021.
The Sign of Peace may now be offered with one another by a bow, not by a handshake.
All Mass parts can be sung but not a requirement. (See the heading Congregational Singing for details.)
The current practice of placing the collections baskets in a highly visible and secure location for people to drop their donations as they come in the nave of the church will continue at this time. However, parishes that have collection baskets with the long handles are allowed to have ushers use them in the collection. The use of the jars for Holy Childhood and Mission Mexico continues to be suspended at this time.
A future memorandum will be released when these can resume.
Distribution of Holy Communion
- Where the mandatory face covering bylaw is in place, the priest/deacon/extraordinary minister of Holy Communion must wear a mask at all times when distributing Communion.
- The communicant can now remove the mask in front of the priest/deacon/extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to receive Communion and must put it back on after consuming the consecrated host.
- When a mandatory face covering bylaw is lifted in your city/municipality, masks will no longer be required when coming up for Holy Communion.
- Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is now allowed to resume. There is no need to establish a separate Communion line exclusively for those receiving on the tongue.
- If the Ordinary/Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion comes in contact with the Communicant in the distribution, please sanitize hands with a quick-drying, alcohol-based hand sanitizer before continuing to distribute Holy Communion.
- Parishes can decide how many Communion lines will be needed to correspond to the size of the congregation gathered for Mass. It can be as many as during pre-pandemic times.
- Communion is only given under one species – the consecrated host.
- The Precious Blood will only be available to the celebrant and concelebrants.
- Concelebrants should receive by self-intinction from a separate chalice if there are more than one.
- For a single concelebrant, he may partake of the precious blood by drinking from the separate chalice and purifying it himself.
- No limit on the number of altar servers required.
- When a mandatory face covering bylaw is in effect in your city/municipality, masks are required for all cantors, choir members, and instruments/musicians.
- No limit on the number of choir members required.
- No limit on the number of instrumentalists/musicians required.
- All Mass parts can be sung but not a requirement. (See below for details.)
- Congregational singing is allowed. However, please note that many people may not be comfortable with congregational singing to resume immediately. Pastors have the ability to decide on this matter for their parish.
- Parishes that decide not to resume congregational singing at this time may have the Mass parts sung only by the cantor.
- Parishes may decide to put back the hymn books in the pews for people to use such as Catholic Book of Worship and other hymn books which you have in storage.
- 2020 Breaking Bread hymn books are not to be used. OCP is unable to extend third party copyrights of songs beyond the missal year.
- Parishes that want to purchase the 2021 Breaking Bread are able to take advantage of the 70% discount in the month of July.
Funeral Masses, Weddings and Baptisms
- There is no limit to the number of attendees.
- Altar servers may be asked to assist in the Masses.
- Funeral lunches may resume if customary.
- The use of the parish confessionals or reconciliations rooms may resume.
- There is no limit to the number of attendees.
- Adoration may now take place in adoration chapels.
Visitation to the Sick
- Clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may take Holy Communion to the sick and the homebound. When visiting a hospital or care homes, please adhere to their health and safety protocols.
Holy Water Fonts
- The use of holy water fonts may now resume.
- Clergy may resume entering people’s homes for requested house blessings.
- The parishes are free to resume in-person meetings of parish groups and any outside groups the parish would allow the use of facilities.
- Parishes may resume hosting social functions in the parish halls such as hospitality after Mass or parish picnic or gathering
- Check with your citymunicipality for special regulations.
Religious Gift Shops / Kiosks
- Religious Gift Shops/Kiosks may now operate in the churches.