In response to updated public health guidelines from the CDC on June 8, 2021, the pandemic state of emergency ended on June 15, 2021 in Massachusetts.
Directives of the Archdiocese of Boston for our parish Mass procedures are being altered. As of the weekend of June 19/20, 2021, the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation has been lifted in the Archdiocese. (The dispensation was lifted in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter several months ago.) The obligation does not apply if you are ill or have been exposed to Covid-19. You may choose not to receive Communion.
These guidelines recognize that Catholic Mass is a public event and must be safe for all people, and not a cause of concern or anxiety. Health protocols will continue to change as the virus changes and as we know more about it. And remember, the 1918 flu pandemic lasted two years.
Although concerns about Covid-19 are substantially lessened, cases are rising again globally, in the United States, and in Massachusetts. The highly-contagious Delta variant now accounts for more than half of new U.S. infections. As of July 6th, 59% of Bostonians were fully vaccinated. And although vaccines are mostly working, immuno-compromised people remain at risk of virus breakthroughs even when fully vaccinated. We must continue to exercise caution. The mask requirement is lifted. Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing in Church if you feel safer doing so. People who are not vaccinated are strongly recommended to continue wearing masks. At the time of communion the celebrant will continue to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask.
These guidelines recognize that the Mass is a public event. It must be safe for all people to attend and not a cause of concern or anxiety. These policies will be updated in response to evolving conditions.
Since we do not know who attending Mass is fully vaccinated (and who is not) you should consider continuing to wear a mask and practice social distancing if you feel safer doing so. (At the distribution of communion, the celebrant will continue to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask.)
There is no need to wait until ten minutes prior to Mass time to enter the Church. You may enter and exit from both vestibules. There is no need for segregated or socially distanced seating. Missals, service leaflets, and hymnals are available for your use.
Gospel processions will resume. The offertory collection will resume. Communion in one kind only continues. There is no coffee hour/reception after Mass at this time.