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Protocol Reminders from the Office of Worship and Liturgy
July 29, 2020
As this time of pandemic continues to unfold, we remain attentive to the safety and well-being of all who enter our churches to pray and participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We recognize that during this unprecedented season of the Church, all are called to make sacrifices that are uncomfortable and out of the ordinary. We do this in charity for one another, despite the difficulty and challenges it may bring. Bearing this in mind, these reminders are shared to help and assist you and your parish leaders to continue to maintain proper safeguards to protect the health of our assemblies and others whom they will encounter. These reminders follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) through resources prepared by members of the Thomistic Institute of the Dominican House in Washington DC and the Federation of Liturgical Commissions (FDLC).
Wearing a mask is one act of charity we do to protect others. Masks continue to be required for everyone in the Church, except children under the age of five, those with medical conditions and the ministers when in the sanctuary. Members of the assembly who refuse to wear masks should be invited to sit in a designated area.
MUSIC AND SINGING DURING MASS
Refraining from singing is also to protect those around us. Therefore, we need to ask our assemblies to not sing during Mass to reduce spreading airborne particles (even while wearing masks).
What does this look like during the Mass?
- The only singing is to be by the musician or cantor, who may sing the Entrance Antiphon and the Communion Antiphon.
- The Gloria, Psalm responses, Holy Holy, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Lamb of God should all be spoken. The celebrant/presider should also recite the prayers of the Mass.
- Instrumental music may be used during the Preparation of the Altar, Communion and Recessional.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION
When using extraordinary ministers, the last action they should take before being handed the ciborium is to sanitize their hands. The sanitizing must occur after they have received communion and put their masks back in place.
I recognize how difficult these protocols are, but cannot stress enough the critical task set before us to make sacrifices out of charity for one another. Thank you for your continued efforts and for your leadership to your people.