On August 6, 2020 the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, amended the Guidelines for the Restoration of Public Worship to allow for the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass rather than at the conclusion of Mass, as had been the practice since public worship resumed on June 8, 2020.
The guidelines were developed to assist Pastors and parish administrators in facilitating the resumption of public worship. These standards are drawn from a variety of sources and were developed in consultation with the Pastors of the Diocese.
Safety and Shared Responsibility
The primary goal in issuing these standards is to provide necessary guidance rooted both in sound liturgical principles as well as to keep everyone, faithful and clergy, as safe as reasonably possible given the requirements of the present circumstances. Based on the principle of shared responsibility they seek to balance the expectations on the part of the parish with those that can be reasonably expected of the faithful who choose to attend Mass.
Below are the details of the latest update.
Coronavirus Resources and Information
Distribution of Holy Communion During Mass
Updated August 6, 2020
Effective immediately, Holy Communion may be distributed to the faithful who wish to receive at the usual time during the Mass, i.e., immediately following the Celebrant.
The faithful are reminded:
- To exercise reverential caution when lowering their face masks and receiving Holy Communion, particularly those who receive in the hand. We have received numerous complaints and reports from priests that the Eucharist is being dropped on the floor as people try to receive. It may be helpful to lower your face mask before the Eucharist is placed in your hands.
- To be mindful of others and maintain appropriate social distance when leaving the church following the conclusion of Mass. This is particularly important in places that are restricted in the doors used in exiting.