Photo courtesy Diocese of El Paso

Diocese Of El Paso announces new protocols for masks, parish dinners, dispensation from Sunday Obligation

Thursday evening, Bishop Mark Seitz announced that he has decided to lift a series of mandates between July 1st and August 1st for the entire Diocese of El Paso.

The list of new changes are listed below.

Mask Mandates

Beginning July 1 – Masks will continue to be required for any unvaccinated persons 3 years old and over on church property. Masks will no longer be required anywhere on church property for those who have been fully vaccinated.

People should be reminded of this requirement when they enter the church and via social media, but the parish is not being asked to enforcethe requirement that unvaccinated people wear a mask. It will be based on the honor system.

Parish Ministers

Those who serve in parish ministries must be fully vaccinated prior to undertaking these ministries for their own safety and that of those with whom they come into contact.

This includes altar servers and people who work in the kitchen and all those who serve in any
volunteer capacity.

Holy Communion

Priests and all Eucharistic Ministers should continue to wear masks when distributing communion. They should sanitize their hands in an inobtrusive way before and after distributing Holy Communion.

Vaccinated people who come forward to receive Holy Communion will not be required to wear masks. Communion will continue to be received on the hand only.

Communion from the Chalice will not resume until a later date.

Parish Dinners and Festivals (Kermeses)

Beginning August 1 – Parish dinners, processions and festivals will be permitted at that time if in the coming weeks the numbers of COVID cases do not appreciably rise in our region.

Return to the Obligation of Catholics to Attend Mass on Sunday

Beginning August 1 – The dispensation from the Obligation to Attend Mass on Sunday will be lifted. In other words, Catholics who have reached the age of reason will be once again obliged to be present at Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday if they are not otherwise impeded by a grave or contagious illness or serious disabilities.