News and Events

Reopening Resources

Updated March 17, 2022

Masks

Masks are optional in all archdiocesan churches and locations. However, in all instances, when a priest or deacon will be in close proximity to individuals presenting themselves (or their children) for reception of the sacraments, masks are strongly encouraged but not required.

Mask guideline for schools

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago are mask optional for all students, faculty and visitors, except for in the following situations:

  • Masks are required for all close contacts or recently positive individuals, regardless of vaccination status, through day 10 post infection/exposure.
  • Masks may be required during periods of high community or school specific infection. We may require classrooms or schools to temporarily require masks based on infection levels. This will be applied at a targeted classroom/school level as much as possible prior to an Archdiocesan shift.
  • Any student or staff member who wishes to continue to wear a mask in school is encouraged to do so. We support all school families and employees in whichever decision they make regarding the regular use of masks. Individuals who wish to wear a mask are encouraged to use an N95 mask and we encourage everyone age 5 and above to receive the COVID-19 vaccine/booster.

Click here for more information on school guidelines.

Lent and Holy Week

Scrutinies and Penitential Rite, March 20, 27 & April 3
  • These Rites normally involve the priest laying hands on the heads of the catechumens or candidates during the minor exorcism / prayer over the candidates.
    • The priest is encouraged to wear a mask.
    • The priest should sanitize his hands before the laying on of hands and again after the laying on of hands is completed.
Communal Penance Services
  • Confessors are encouraged to wear masks.
Palm Sunday (April 10)
  • The Ushers may distribute palms to the faithful as they enter.
Holy Thursday
  • The washing of feet should be carried out in the following manner:
    • The priest should sanitize his hands before the washing of feet and again after it is completed.
    • The priest should wash the feet of a representative group of parishioners only.
    • The practice of anyone coming forward to have their feet washed, or the practice of parishioners washing the feet of the person behind him/her, are not to take place this year.
Good Friday
  • For the Adoration of the Holy Cross, no physical contact with the cross is to take place.
    • The faithful may process to the front of the church but are to be instructed to venerate the cross with a bow or a genuflection only.
Holy Saturday
  • Individual tapers may be used by the faithful this year.
  • For baptism and confirmation, the priest is encouraged to wear a mask and to sanitize his hands before confirming the neophytes and candidates and again when the Rite of Confirmation is completed.
  • The blessing of Easter baskets may continue as we have done in the past.

Distribution of Holy Communion at Mass

  • The priest and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should continue to sanitize their hands prior to distributing Communion.
  • When distributing Holy Communion on the tongue, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must have hand sanitizer nearby and use it immediately in the event of contact with saliva (which is good practice in all circumstances).
  • Distributing/receiving Holy Communion from the cup remains suspended at this time; concelebrants should proceed with the practice of intinction. The archdiocese will communicate once sharing of the cup may resume.

Bringing Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

  • Ministers must be fully vaccinated (for the protection for the homebound who would in most cases be considered vulnerable).
  • Communion Services in assisted living homes, senior residents, etc. must follow the protocols of the establishment.