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Archives Parishes begin getting approval to reopen

June 3, 2020

Parishes across the Diocese of Ogdensburg are continuing their efforts to prepare to resume public worship.

To reopen, each parish must have an approved plan for public worship. As of May 28, 25 pastors had received permission to reopen churches for public worship.

While worship is currently limited to 10 or fewer participants by state mandate, Bishop Terry R. LaValley and bishops from around New York are in dialogue with the governor’s office to try to get the number who can attend Mass increased based on the size of each church and the number that can be accommodated while respecting social distancing protocols.

As a reminder, when public worship resumes, there will be a number of changes intended to reduce the potential for spreading the virus, including:
• Initially, only a certain number of people will be able to physically go to Mass. This is largely determined by the size of the church and the requirements of social distancing.

• All parishioners ages 2 and over will wear face coverings while in church to protect themselves and others.

• There will be no holy water in fonts.

• No passing of the collection basket. The basket will be placed in a fixed location and parishioners will be asked to drop their contributions into the basket as they enter or leave the church.

• The distribution of Communion will be different.

• No worship aids will be available for use, such as missalettes and hymns.

• There will be no choirs in the early phases of our return to public worship.

• There will be no congregating in the church, on the steps or at the doors of the church.

Bishop LaValley has extended the dispensation of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice. Online and televised Masses will continue to be available. For a complete listing of available television/web-based Masses, or to see the diocesan guidelines for returning to worship, visit www.rcdony.org/covid-19.

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