DALLAS — Catholics can return to Sunday mass in-person later this month after only attending online mass since late April, the diocese announced Thursday.
Starting June 28, attendance will be restricted to 50% capacity to align with social distancing and health and safety protocols, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
The Dallas diocese had previously restricted Sunday mass to online-only and scheduled confessions. The church has been open for private prayer, with capacity limits.
Saturday masses can continue at 50% capacity starting June 27. Weekday masses will continue at 50% capacity.
"Those attending Mass are strongly encouraged to wear proper face coverings, following local civil orders where appropriate," the diocese said.
People should bring their own hand sanitizer.
The diocese still discourages people who are considered part of the "vulnerable population," as well as people who have symptoms.
Holding hands and handshaking is not permitted.
The collection basket will not be distributed and the Holy Water fonts will remain empty, the diocese said.
Cry rooms and nurseries will remain closed.
This marks the diocese' third phase of reopening.
"The Faithful will remain dispensed from any obligation to attend Mass on Sunday," the diocese said, due to the attendance limits.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas serves 1.3 million Catholics to 77 churches in the nine counties.
These are the guidelines released by the diocese related to all limited gatherings and to the church building itself:
- Gathering and Seating Requirements: Groups at any event may not exceed 50% capacity for church buildings, and all social distancing requirements (six feet of separation) must be strictly followed when individuals are present in church buildings.
- When the Faithful are seated in the church building, pastors will ensure that the Faithful keep at least two empty seats (or six feet of separation) between parties in any row, except when two or more members of the same household sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet of separation) empty on either side. Pastors must ensure that every other row is left empty. Which seats are available and which are closed will need to be indicated with clear signs.
- It is strongly encouraged that those present in a church building wear proper face coverings, following local civil orders where appropriate.
- The church building must be cleaned and disinfected. Pastors must train or have trained all employees and volunteers on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. Additional protocols for this are forthcoming, but diligent cleaning must occur after every gathering or event.
- All Diocesan Safe Environment protocols remain strictly in place.
- Please see the following guidelines from the Governor’s Office as well as guidelines from respective counties for additional information.
Go here for more details on mass protocols from the diocese.