As I stated last Sunday, it was so great to see many of you back at public Masses!
Each parish had it’s own challenges, but over all I think we did well at St. Patrick in following physical distancing as well as the other protocols. Some parishes were doing things different as far as face masks/face coverings, because we were unclear as to the guidelines. Therefore Bishop Estevez has issued the following clarifications:
Having considered what we do know and how much is still unknown and will be for some time in the future, Bishop Estevez has made the following decisions regarding masks and face coverings during the Mass:
- Must masks be worn continuously during the Mass? Yes, the faithful attending the Mass must wear masks or suitable face covering at all times other than at the moment of consuming Holy Communion is required. (Short-term removal for a momentary purpose is permissible.)
- What about those adults or children who, for medical reasons or discomfort, cannot wear a mask continuously? There are indeed concerns regarding the ability to control young children, and certainly valid medical reasons why some cannot wear a mask or have their face covered. The bishop’s dispensation from Mass addresses this concern. If the wearing of a mask presents a particular medical burden or practical challenge; then those faithful can choose to stay home and participate in live-streamed or recorded Masses.
- What about priests? Other than when actively involved in vocal parts (e.g., priest prayers, proclaiming the Gospel, and during the homily), clergy and other ministers must wear masks.
Approved by: Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez, Bishop of St. Augustine, May 20, 2020