It’s taken a long time, but it’s finally happening.
The press release:
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is pleased to announce that churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn can re-open for Weekday Mass on Monday, June 29, 2020.
The celebration of Sunday Mass can begin with the Saturday Vigil Mass on July 4, 2020, and on Sunday, July 5, 2020. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place, including the requirement that all who enter a church must bring and must wear their own mask during the entire Mass and maintain proper social distancing.
“Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens have been longing for the celebration of Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist. But our sacrifice and patience have borne fruit, and we did our part to flatten the curve of the terrible coronavirus pandemic. Soon we can come together to be nourished by the spiritual food we have been desperate for,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
In preparation for the joyous day when Mass will resume, the Diocese of Brooklyn is launching a video today in English and Spanish to give Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens an understanding of the changes they will experience as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols designed to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Beyond the requirement that parishioners must bring and must wear their own mask for Mass, churches can only be filled to 25% capacity to fulfill social distance requirements of six feet between congregants. Families who live in the same household though will be able to sit together.
The reception of Communion will be different. It is strongly recommended the faithful receive Holy Communion in the hand and they must leave their mask on when they approach the priest at a six-foot distance. When the communicant receives the Sacred Host, they should move to the side and consume the Eucharist immediately. Communion will only be offered in one form; the Precious Blood will not be distributed to the faithful at this time.
Since each church and parish is unique, the faithful should check with their individual parishes, parish websites and social media pages for specifics about the resumption of Mass and the safety protocols in place.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains in effect until further notice. As such, the Diocese urges anyone who feels sick in any way to stay home. Mass will continue to be broadcast live on the Diocesan cable channel, NET-TV, and streamed online. NET-TV is available in the New York City market on Spectrum, channel 97; Optimum, channel 30; and Fios by Verizon, channel 48.
“We have endured a period of great challenge, especially here in our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, but the Lord was with us all the way. Now in just over a week, we can come together and give thanks to Him, pray for the people we lost, and those still affected by the coronavirus. And rejoice in the celebration of the Liturgy. Thanks be to God,” concluded Bishop DiMarzio.