Directives and Information, COVID 19
There have been many questions regarding new CDC guidance and how various dioceses are implementing them. The Archdiocese of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been working together to implement the new guidelines. To that end, Gov. Baker has announced he is rescinding the mandate requiring mask wearing and fully reopening the state on May 29th.
As most of you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control issued a statement that in many settings fully vaccinated people may now go about their days not wearing masks and not social distancing. Beginning May 29th parishes can begin returning to normal procedures. We will continue to monitor the State mandates closely for the next two (2) weeks, and we will adjust our protocols accordingly.
Dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass is still in place. We are making the following changes, effective May 29th:
- Registration for Mass is no longer required.
- Vaccinated parishioners do not have to wear masks and can be seated anywhere in the church. It is understood that different people will be ready to take off their masks and sit near one another at different times. Parishioners are free to continue to wear masks and will be respected if they choose to do so.
- The reception of Holy Communion and the taking up of collections using a basket with a pole will return to their pre-covid methods.
- Parishes with more than one Mass a day are not required to disinfect the church between each Mass. However, if we have a report of someone having attended the church, who then tests positive for COVID, the parish will deep clean all public areas.
- Although congregational singing may return, we will be hold off from bringing back the missalettes and hymnals for some time.
- The use of Liturgical ministers and altar servers will be revisited over the summer months.
- Clergy are strongly encouraged to wear masks during the distribution of Holy Communion and will sanitize their hands before and after.
- Communion calls, nursing home visits and services at funeral homes will be revisited after assessing the impact of the new regulations.