Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconNews
line break icon

Here’s how Catholic dioceses plan to resume public Masses around the country


Shutterstock | Marco Iacobucci Epp

John Burger - published on 05/21/20 - updated on 05/21/20

As public officials lift COVID-19 restrictions, bishops prepare parishes for safely bringing the faithful back to church.

Masks, the 6-foot rule, and Communion in the hand are the predominant features that will characterize the Catholic Mass in the coming months, as churches reopen to the faithful and society continues to take measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Several dioceses and archdiocese have published guidelines for parishes to follow in order to allow the faithful to attend liturgies once again, some two months after a near total ban. Bishops and their staffs have worked out plans in consultation with civic officials and health experts. Most of the plans follow a “phased-in” approach, beginning with church openings for private prayer and moving on to Mass for greater and greater numbers of people.

In New York state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo permitted houses of worship to hold services for up to 10 persons, beginning Thursday. The same day, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn held a news conference in a Manhattan church to outline their plans for reopening. At first, churches will be open just for private prayer and Confession. Later, small weddings and funerals will be allowed. Cardinal Dolan said it might be at least six weeks before churches in the archdiocese have public Mass on Sundays again.

Priests will be tested weekly for COVID-19, a move that Cardinal Dolan hopes will reassure church-goers, he said.

New York City was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In upstate New York, where the situation was not as bad, churches might be able to have Sunday Mass again sooner.

“We will move more slowly,” Bishop DiMarzio said.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz also allowed religious services for up to 10 people. In response, the Minnesota Catholic Conference said that the number was too low and said bishops in the state would give parishes permission to allow attendance of up to one-third of each church’s seating capacity.

In the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., attendance will be limited to 50% of a church’s capacity.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.