Coronavirus Resources and Information
Guidelines for Celebration of Mass and Holy Communion
Below are the recommended guidelines for the celebration of Mass and Holy Communion. Please note that these guidelines are also applicable to other parish liturgical events such as weddings, funerals and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Health and Hygiene Considerations:
Masks are currently not required in any indoor setting in any area jurisdiction.
The CDC has also issued new advisory guidelines, which now classify the COVID-19 Community Level for the District and for Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s Counties as low. The CDC recommendation for these areas is: “Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.”
The use of masks by ordinary and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion will continue to be optional during the distribution in all jurisdictions of the archdiocese. This decision was made due to the plummeting case loads as well as the high vaccination rates. However, in making their decisions on masking for distribution of Holy Communion, pastors should be sensitive to the needs of the parishioners, deacons, and other ministers to understand that some recipients of Holy Communion may feel more comfortable if ministers wear a mask during distribution.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during the pandemic was lifted effective June 26, 2021. Read the joint statement from Cardinal Gregory and the bishops of the Province of Baltimore.
The latest news from the Catholic Standard
Archdiocese lifts masking requirement for Catholic schools in the District of Columbia →
All jurisdictions within archdiocese no longer require masks in church →
Despite challenges of pandemic, Catholic schools continue ‘academic excellence and faith formation we are known for’ →
Visit cathstan.org for the most recent news and information regarding the impact of the coronavirus here in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
Catholic Schools Information
Visit the Catholic Schools website for the latest information, including this Feb. 17, 2022 letter to parents from the superintendent with updates on masking policies for archdiocesan schools.
For more about your school’s campus operating status, contact your school directly, visit your school website, and follow your school on social media.
Worship and Prayer Resources
Prayers and information on making a Spiritual Communion →
The dispensation issued by Cardinal Gregory from the obligation to attend Mass during the pandemic has been lifted, effective June 26 and June 27, 2021. Read the joint statement from Cardinal Gregory and the bishops of the Province of Baltimore.
The following resources have been developed to help parishes and individuals continue to provide and to participate in pastoral ministry, prayer and outreach. These resources were created at various times since Spring 2020. Since civil guidelines and restrictions are developing, always follow the most recent guidance on social and physical distancing.
Individual and Family Resources
- Guide to celebrating Mass online when sick or homebound: English | Spanish
- How to hold a prayer service at home: English | English B&W version| Spanish | French
- Resources for live-streaming events in your parish
- How to host a small group online: English | Spanish
- Guide for parishes to make phone calls to parishioners (Updated November 2020): English PDF | English Word Doc. | Spanish PDF | Spanish Word Doc.
- The Church on Call: Accompanying Parishioners through Phone Calls during Times of Separation (co-produced with the Catholic Apostolate Center): Webinar
- Top ten tips for pastoral ministry during COVID-19: English
Health, Safety and Vaccine Information
There have been many conversations within the Catholic community about the safety and morality of COVID-19 vaccines. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington supports and affirms the statement published on March 2, 2021 by the USCCB.
We have provided answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to help clarify Catholic moral teaching on this matter.
FAQ on COVID-19 Vaccine Development →
Media inquiries should be directed to the Office of Media Relations.
Visit the Media Portal to view the latest statements regarding the coronavirus released by The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.