Phase Three of the Directives for Re-Opening Churches is contingent upon any further developments or guidance from health and state public officials. As part of Phase Three, the following protocols will be observed:
- Based on state public official guidelines, the maximum number of participants for public Masses, Funerals, Baptisms, and Weddings remains at 25% of the church’s capacity or 50 participants in total, whichever number is lower.
- All the directives on social distancing, wearing of masks, and sanitizing from Phase One and Phase Two remain in force.
- Cardinal Tobin continues to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
- Parishes will continue to livestream Mass so that those unable to attend may maintain a spiritual connection with their local parish.
Although directives for reopening have been provided to all parishes, it continues to remain the responsibility and decision of each pastor to determine the process and timing for safe reopening of their individual parish.
The Archdiocese will continue to monitor the expert guidance of public health officials and federal and state public officials, who have cautioned not to rush into reopening churches to the faithful before manageable safety protocols can be put in place. The Archdiocese remains committed to the health and well-being of its clergy and staff, the faithful, and the public.
Details about protocols and expectations of parishes and Mass participants can be found online, at www.rcan.org.
For the latest Archdiocesan news or announcements, please continue to visit the Archdiocese of Newark’s COVID-19 resource page, at http://www.rcan.org/covid19.