Bishop Douglas Lucia has updated COVID protocols for the Syracuse Catholic Diocese that will take effect immediately.

Diocese officials say the changes have been made after consulting the new guideline provided by the CDC and New York state, as well as consultation with staff and medical professionals.

Masks and social distancing are no longer required at mass for fully vaccinated parishioners.

Other revisions include:

  •  Hymnals and missalettes can once again be used.
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may resume their ministry with proper hand hygiene before and after Holy Communion.
  • The Offertory Procession with the gifts of the bread and wine can resume.
  • Choirs with vaccinated members can operate as normal, while unvaccinated members must maintain social distancing.
  • Altar servers may resume their ministry with proper hygiene procedures.
  • Collection baskets may resume as normal.

Lucia says it may take parishes until next weekend to fully implement the changes.

There are a few protocols that will not change.

Hand hygiene, in general, is still required, and Holy Communion is still to be given in the form of bread only.

There are no shared Communion cups and receiving Communion in the hand is still recommended.

Lucia says the changes will allow celebrations of mass to resemble those before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The revised protocols are meant to aid to a fuller return to Divine Worship on the Lord’s Day by providing for a less restrictive, but still safe worship environment. These protocols go into effect immediately, but it may take our parishes until next weekend to implement them fully, so I ask for your patience and understanding,” said Bishop Lucia.

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