(updated August 25; originally published May 20, 2021)
Bishop DiMarzio has issued these new guidelines for the celebration of liturgies in the parishes of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens and the reinstatement of the obligation for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass beginning the weekend of June 5-6, 2021.
With the delta variant of concern so much in the news, we wish to remind everyone attending Mass to be attentive to prudent safeguards while inside the church. Let’s all be safe and keep praying for an end to this pandemic.
- Unvaccinated individuals are responsible for wearing masks indoors in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Masks are mandatory in church for those who are not vaccinated.
- Anyone who is so inclined is encouraged to wear a mask while in church to help protect themselves and others.
- Church is open to full 100% capacity. All pews are available for seating, with no requirement to rope off a pew between the occupied rows.
- Individual who are unvaccinated should continue to maintain social distancing. Unvaccinated parishioners should distance themselves from others who are not members of the same household.
We will have a notice on the doors and announce that people who are not vaccinated should continue to social distance and wear masks. We are relying on the honesty of people regarding their vaccination status. No one should be asked to prove having been vaccinated. Nor should anyone be forced to sit in one place or another in church.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays is a sacred one and to be taken seriously. As we emerge slowly from the restrictions of the pandemic, let us remember the importance of the gift of the Sacred Eucharist. As the Bishops of New York State have reminded us, “the Mass is the greatest gift that Our Lord has given us. It is a sacred moment in which we are truly in His presence, to hear His Word, to receive Him in Holy Communion and to give Him thanks. The Sunday Eucharist is a remarkable opportunity, not be missed.”
- Hand hygiene is still required, and disinfectant use is encouraged (we provide disinfectant at the entrances of the church).
- There is no physical exchange of the sign of peace at this time; holy water stoups will remain empty.
- Holy Communion is given under the form of the Bread alone, with no sharing of Communion cups.
- Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is still the recommended practice.
- The obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sunday is a sacred one and must be taken seriously. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, issued since the start of the pandemic, is lifted effective the weekend of June 5-6, 2021 — the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi).
- Although the general dispensation will be lifted, those who are ill or feeling unwell, those who care for the sick, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions are automatically dispensed from the obligation, as is always the case.