After a nearly two-month absence due to the COVID-19 crisis, public Masses are slated to resume in the Archdiocese of Detroit as early as next week, officials announced Tuesday, making the region’s Catholic churches the latest to join a slow process of reopening gathering spaces in Michigan.
“In recent weeks, we have watched with relief as our State of Michigan gradually opened to select businesses and activities, with prudent precautions firmly in place to prevent a severe ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus pandemic,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who leads the archdiocese and the region’s Catholics, said in a letter to worshipers.
“In keeping with this gradual reopening of our society, it is necessary that we make similar arrangements within our local Church to allow once again for the communal celebration of Holy Mass, which at its core is the most ‘essential’ activity known to our world.”
According to newly released liturgical directives posted on the archdiocese website, parishes can resume public Masses on May 19 under certain conditions. Those include having face-coverings/masks worn in and around the church; proper cleaning and sanitizing facilities before or after services; physical distancing; and not exceeding 25% of total capacity for the church.
All archdiocesan parishes will resume public Mass by May 29 following the same guidelines, according to the directives.
“The most important category of individuals to participate at Mass at this time should be those preparing to enter the Catholic Church in the weeks ahead,” Vigneron wrote in his letter.