The Bishop of Bridgeport said in a post online that parishes in the diocese will be able to resume public worship inside church buildings starting with the weekend of June 13-14, which is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
Outdoor masses started on May 21 and the bishop said the first phase of re-opening “has gone very well.”
The bishop added that parishes that are ready to follow “established norms” will be able to have weekday masses, funeral masses and weddings.
“While the challenges are considerable when congregating in an indoor location, we are confident that by following public health recommendations, we can come together for Mass in a manner that is as safe or safer than in other public gatherings,” Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, said in a statement posted on the diocese website.
“I recognize that the last few months have been a most difficult time for all of us. I am grateful for your patience and prayers during this unprecedented moment in our history. I very much appreciate the great sorrow and loss felt by many who have longed to return to Mass. We will also need to live with continuing uncertainties about the course of the pandemic and its full impact on our society. However, I believe that it is also the right time to move forward in hope and faith, while taking all necessary precautions and safeguards to protect life in our community as we resume public worship within our Churches,” Caggiano wrote.
People who are vulnerable or concerned about their health or the health of loved ones have a dispensation of the obligation to attend Sunday mass and Caggiano is encouraging parishes to continue to live stream mass. He also said parishes will be able to continue to offer masses outdoors
Churches will have to maintain social distancing of at least six feet and frequent sanitization of common areas and the use of hand sanitizers and require face masks for everyone who attends.
Each church’s seating capacity will be determined by social distancing requirements, so it will vary depending upon the size of the church and the configuration.
Extensive guidelines recommended will be posted online: www.bridgeportdiocese.org on Monday, June 1.