The Catholic Diocese of Dallas has announced that public Sunday Masses may resume on June 28 under Phase Three of the diocesan reopening plan.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Sunday Masses will resume with limited and restricted attendance that will increase over time.
During this phase of the diocesan reopening plan, church buildings may not exceed 50% capacity, and individuals must follow social distancing requirements.
Churchgoers must keep at least two empty seats between parties while seated in any row. Pastors must also ensure that every other row is left empty, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
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The Diocese also encouraged churchgoers to wear proper face coverings and follow local civil orders inside church buildings.
The church buildings must be cleaned and disinfected, and all employees and volunteers must be trained on cleaning and disinfection procedures, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
On June 28, pastors will determine a schedule for future Sunday Masses, Catholic Diocese of Dallas said. Sunday Masses and other devotions will continue to be livestreamed via the Diocese of Dallas website and local television.
Saturday Masses, including vigil Masses, will also continue at 50% of building capacity on June 27. Public weekday Masses may continue at 50% capacity as well.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, if a pastor or other priest feels unable to personally celebrate Mass, priests from other parishes can be asked to celebrate Masses where necessary.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas encouraged members of vulnerable populations or those with symptoms of COVID-19 to not attend Mass at this time.
Churchgoers are also encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and sanitize their hands before Mass and before receiving Holy Communion, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
To avoid unnecessary touching of door handles, doors will be propped open before Mass and opened again at the end of Mass.
All hymnals, worships aids, and other papers, such as contribution envelopes or visitor cards, must be removed from pews, and worship aids must only be single-use and disposed of before leaving the church.
Holding hands during the Lord's Prayer is not permitted, and the Sign of Peace remains suspended at this time, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
Cry rooms and nurseries will remain closed, and Holy Water fonts will remain empty.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas said collection baskets will not be distributed, but they will remain available at entrances and exits.
Hospitality Ministers will dismiss churchgoers by pew in order to ensure a staggered exit and maintain social distancing.
All vessels must be sanitized before Holy Communion, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas encouraged churchgoers to receive communion on the hand and sanitize their hands in advance.
Individuals should remove face coverings and gloves before receiving communion, and the communion line should maintain a distance of two pews between individuals.
The celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, First Communion celebrations, Eucharistic Adoration, weddings, quinceañeras, and funeral services can continue at the discretion of the pastor, but may be modified to address health concerns, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
Additional information about the third phase of the diocesan reopening plan can be found on the Catholic Diocese of Dallas website.