August 20, 2021
The following updated temporary Guidance and Directives are being issued by the Bishop David J. Bonnar in light of the current circumstances of an increase in cases of the COVID-19 delta variant virus and are in line with the recent recommendations of the CDC, State of Ohio, and local health departments.
- Those who are ill, have significant health risk factors or care for someone who is
compromised or ill, remain exempt from attending Mass on Sunday and Holy
Days as well as those who have significant fear or anxiety of contracting the
coronavirus in a large group of people.
- Every effort should be made to maintain Sunday/weekday worship to a style that
promotes the full, active, and conscious participation of all in attendance as
called for by the liturgy and expected by the People of God while maintaining a
reasonably safe and comfortable environment.
- Vaccinated Persons: Those who are fully vaccinated are
temporarily encouraged to wear face-coverings while attending
Mass or any parish function. Although not mandated, it is strongly
recommended for the time being.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Those who are unvaccinated are required
to continue to wear facial coverings while attending Mass or any
Seating: There are no seating restrictions at this time.
Music/Singing: There are no new restrictions regarding hymnals, choirs and
other instruments and singing at this time.
Distribution of Holy Communion: Other than as Viaticum to the critically ill,
Holy Communion is to be given in the context of Mass or outside of Mass
according to an approved rite (i.e. Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion). The
distribution of Holy Communion at any other time (i.e. immediately after Mass,
before Mass etc.) rather than during Mass is prohibited.
- Ministers of Holy Communion: Ministers of Holy Communion should
continue to discreetly sanitize hands before distributing. At this time it is
recommended that face-coverings be worn during the distribution of Holy
- Distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue: Ministers of Holy
Communion should respect the way the communicant desires to receive the
host. For the time being, it is suggested, that those wishing to receive on the
tongue continue to receive from the priest.
- Other Liturgical Ministers: Other liturgical ministers (i.e., Lectors, Altar
Servers, Ushers, Hospitality) are to follow the guidance for those attending
Mass. They may remove their face-covering when specifically performing their
ministry (i.e., proclaiming Scripture).
- Sign of Peace: The Sign of Peace is not suspended just the gesture of shaking
hands. The spoken invitation to offer a sign of peace continues and those
present are encouraged to bow to others and offer words of peace. Those from
the same household can offer a more expressive gesture.
- Reception of the Precious Blood: At the present time, the current environment
suggests that reintroducing the reception of the Precious Blood from the chalice
by the assembly is not prudent. It is hoped, over time and with improving
circumstances, an appropriate and proper reintroduction of the reception of the
Precious Blood by the faithful will be possible.
Pastors are encouraged to reassess the circumstances of their parish community in the
coming weeks. Further guidance will be provided by the Office of Worship as merited.