Limited public Masses to resume May 16-17
COLORADO SPRINGS. Two months after the Diocese of Colorado Springs suspended public Masses in response to the coronavirus pandemic, parishioners are being invited back to the limited celebration of Mass starting the weekend of May 16-17. But because of the need for comprehensive safety measures to limit further spread of the virus, the manner in which people gather at church will look very different than it did in the past.
“We have communicated with priests, secular advisors, and health officials to determine how best to reopen our churches in a way that is safe for the faithful and broader community,” said Bishop Michael Sheridan.
Parishioners are being asked to reserve a place at each Mass through an online registration platform or another system chosen by the parish. Masses will be spread out during the week due to reduced church capacity and expanded cleaning procedures. Parishioners should visit their parish’s website for details on Mass times and reservations.
Social gatherings before or after Mass are prohibited, and people are asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering the church. The use of hymnals and holy water fonts is discontinued for the time being, and receiving Holy Communion in the hand is being encouraged to minimize the likelihood of physical contact between Communion ministers and those receiving.
Family members residing in the same household can be seated as a group at Mass, but groups will be spaced apart in the church. Specific guidelines for maintaining distance between these groups may vary among parishes.
Catholics in the diocese are still dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday. According to the diocese, anyone who has an underlying condition that makes them susceptible to COVID-19 should not attend Mass in person but should continue to watch recorded or livestreamed Masses. Bishop Sheridan has been recording Sunday Masses that can be viewed online at www.diocs.org. Many parishes in the diocese are continuing to livestream or record both weekday and Sunday Masses.
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver began holding public Masses May 9, and thus far the overall response has been positive, said Mark Haas, Director of Public Relations for the Archdiocese of Denver.
Visit www.diocs.org for further updates and information.