Bishop’s Decree: Revised Pandemic Protocols
Bishop's Decree: Revised Pandemic Protocols
REVISING THE PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS FOR THE CELEBRATION OF PUBLIC MASSES AND SACRAMENTS
As Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, effective immediately, I hereby abrogate all pandemic protocols currently in place, as well as any other measures which have been adopted, and replace them with the following revised protocols for the celebration of public Masses and Sacraments in the Diocese of Greensburg:
- The use of all pews is permitted.
- Pastors and others should presume peoples’ good will in following these directives. They should not inquire of anyone as to whether or not they have been vaccinated.
- Individuals are no longer required to wear masks when in church. Those who are not fully vaccinated are strongly urged to wear masks while in church, both for their protection and for the protection of others. Parishes should post signs requesting the unvaccinated or those at risk, to continue to wear masks.
- Dispensation from the Obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses remains in place.
- Livestreaming of Masses (both daily and Sunday) should continue wherever feasible.
- The use of confessionals is once again permitted.
GENERAL NORMS FOR ALL MASSES
- The following actions remain suspended:
- Distribution of the Precious Blood
- Placing of Holy Water in fonts or other dispensers
- Entrance and recessional processions are permitted, but not the offertory procession.
- Priests may greet parishioners before or after Mass, provided that they do not shake hands.
- The regularly scheduled use of servers, lectors, musicians and choirs is now permitted. Unvaccinated ministers are encouraged to continue to wear masks.
- A verbal exchange of the sign of peace among the faithful, without physical contact, is permitted whenever it is considered opportune.
- It is recommended that all common surfaces be wiped down once daily.
ENTERING AND LEAVING
- Parishioners who are not feeling well are requested to stay home.
- It is not the priest’s nor any church personnel’s responsibility to police who is attending or wearing masks.
- Hymnals and other similar items are still not to be used. Printed Worship Aids are acceptable.
- Hand sanitizer is to be available at the church entrance for parishioners.
- Collection baskets, with or without handles, are still not to be used in the pews.
THE COMMUNION RITE
- Priest Concelebrants and Deacons should continue to receive by intinction, except for the one who will purify the chalice.
- Note Well: Masks are required of all Ministers who are distributing Holy Communion. All ministers of Holy Communion should sanitize their hands before and after the distribution of Holy Communion.
- It is still highly recommended that one receive Holy Communion in the hand, but the right to receive on the tongue remains in place.
- It is recommended that those approaching for Holy Communion should sanitize their hands before entering the line to receive Holy Communion.
- Note well: There is to be a table with purificator or ablution bowl and hand sanitizer at each station for the distribution of Holy Communion. Those distributing Holy Communion who accidently physically contact a communicant should wipe their fingers on a purificator or use the ablution bowl, and then use the hand sanitizer before proceeding to the next communicant.
Given at the Chancery
of the Diocese of Greensburg
on this 14th day of May, 2021
The Most Reverend Larry J. Kulick, JCL
Bishop of Greensburg
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