Parish Re-opening FAQs 5.26.21

Can we use Holy Water fonts?

Yes, you can. There are options to the standing water fonts – here is an example:

May we use fans in church during Mass?

Yes, you may now use fans.

Can we restart in-person faith formation in the fall?

Yes. We do not yet know if masks and distancing will be required for them in the fall. They are not required for summer programming.

What are the guidelines for children wearing masks at Mass? Are they required?

The State of Massachusetts advises that people who are not vaccinated wear masks in public settings. They make no distinction between adults and children. That being said, our parishes are not requiring children or anyone to wear masks as of May 29. That decision is left to the individual and family. We are encouraging parishes to continue to provide space for people who choose to wear masks and continue social distancing for the time being, including children.

Can we receive Communion at the normal time rather than on our way out the door?

There is no prohibition on receiving Holy Communion at the normal time, nor has there ever been. Parishes have made adjustments to be safe in their own settings and with their own people, and they have been encouraged to do so. Now, most parishes will begin to restore normalcy in those areas, but how quickly that happens is a judgment for the pastor to make.

Is a sign-in sheet still required at the entrance to the church?

No. But it is up to the local pastor how quickly that change is made.

When will videos about coming back to Mass be available?

Soon, but we do not yet have a firm date.

What about receiving Communion on the tongue?

It is permitted, although different parishes may return to that practice at different times.

Is it okay to hold a large event, like a parish picnic?


Can there be food at parish events, like coffee hours?


Should we still use a swab for the anointing of the sick?

We would recommend it, although it is not required. The time may come when the Holy See or the USCCB says to go back to using your thumb for all anointings, but we have not yet received any such instruction.

Are we allowed to use the Church Hall?

Yes, at the discretion of the pastor.

Can cantors return to the sanctuary?

Yes, at the discretion of the pastor.

 Will there be more information on workshops for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist? 

Yes. You can sign up for FlockNote updates from the Office of Divine Worship here: – and watch the website for the Office of Divine Worship here:

When can we return to using kneelers?

There are no restrictions on using kneelers.

Do ushers need to wear masks when helping people to form lines for Communion?

No, but they may choose to, or the pastor may ask them to do so.

Do we need to continue to control the flow of people around the Church with arrows? 

No, but some parishes may have found new, useful patterns that there is no reason to abandon. It is up to the parish.