The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is issuing new pointers for the complete reopening of parishes
LOS ANGELES (RNS) – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has issued new guidelines for its more than 300 parishes, due to fully reopen on June 19.
In a letter to parishioners over the weekend, Archbishop José H. Gomez announced guidelines that allow liturgical celebrations – including weekday and Sunday masses, as well as First Communion, Confirmation and Baptism – indoors and without capacity restrictions, social distancing and pre-arranged “reservation systems.” The same goes for weddings, quinceañeras, and funerals.
Some Catholic churches have held socially distant indoor services, while other parishes have chosen to hold mass outdoors.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles estimates that it is home to 4.3 million Catholics.
“Fortunately, we are continuing to make significant strides in our fight against the pandemic in the three counties of the archdiocese,” Gomez said in the letter. “We can look forward to better days in which we can actively live our faith as the body of Christ in our parishes.”
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According to the new instructions, there will be no mask requirement for fully vaccinated people during church services indoors and outdoors. In the meantime, unvaccinated individuals must wear masks during outdoor services and at all times indoors when social distancing is not an option.
However, the new guidelines state that municipalities should “not check who is vaccinated and who is not”. Masks and social distancing are required for staff and volunteers during the fair.
Gomez also announced that on June 19, he would end the exemption from attending Sunday mass and public holidays. However, the exception still applies to those who are sick or have health concerns.
These new instructions come just days before a California ordinance officially repeals most of the state’s coronavirus rules on Tuesday June 15 and applies to the 288 parishes, 30 missions and chapels of the Archdiocese and 16 Eastern Rite Catholic Churches in Los Angeles , Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
RELATED: According to California ruling, some worship indoors, others still think it’s too risky
In February, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifted a California ban on indoor worship, and earlier this month the state approved two settlements preventing it from imposing new COVID-19 restrictions on places of worship.