Archdiocese of Washington Provides Guidance for Future Reopening of Public Masses

Plan follows state and district guidelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Guidance for the reopening of public Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington, which includes Washington, D.C. and five Maryland counties, will continue to reflect the various limitations that those jurisdictions impose on public assemblies.

Recently, the governor of Maryland and the mayor of the District of Columbia announced the expectation of multiple phases when the ease of restrictions occurs. Concurrently, an archdiocesan team has been planning for liturgical celebrations in the future, taking into consideration new guidelines.

When the current restrictions are eased and the faithful are able to gather for Mass again, some changes will be essential to ensure the health and safety of those who attend. These include:

  • Social distancing
  • Wearing a mask
  • Limited Attendance at Mass
  • Limited Church seating
  • Liturgical changes – such as distribution of Holy Communion under one species, no exchange of the sign of peace, no holy water fonts, etc. – will remain in effect

Additionally, the Dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation issued on March 12, 2020, is still in effect until further notice for those who choose to remain at home, such as those particularly vulnerable due to age or pre-existing health conditions.

For more on these guidelines, see the infographic What to Expect When Public Masses Start to Resume (in Spanish) and a video from Archbishop Gregory.

These updates and more information are available at For more about how the Archdiocese of Washington has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, visit

# # #