Detroit Archdiocese Says Catholic Mass Can Resume On May 19

WWJ News
May 12, 2020 - 6:10 pm
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(WWJ) As coronavirus restrictions gradually ease in Michigan, a staple for many metro Detroiters is set to return: Catholic mass.

In a statement out Tuesday, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Detroit Archdiocese says public masses will resume one week from today, on May 19.

Vigneron says there are guidelines in place to assist clergy and worshipers in safely participating in Holy Mass; and that the original decision to suspend mass was difficult but necessary in light of the severity of the pandemic.

Guidelines include the following: 

  • Face-coverings/masks are to be worn by the faithful in and around the church.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing of church facilities using proper techniques before or after Masses.
  • Physical distancing is practiced in the church and on the church property.
  • Parish churches are not to exceed 25% of total capacity for the church; which should allow people to remain at least six feet apart

Take a look at the full set of guidelines here

Here is the complete letter from Vigneron: 

"Dear brothers and sisters,

I write today to share some measure of hope during this difficult time of pandemic and social distancing. In recent weeks, we have watched with relief as our State of Michigan gradually opened to select businesses and activities, with prudent precautions firmly in place to prevent a severe 'second wave' of the coronavirus pandemic. In keeping with this gradual reopening of our society, it is necessary that we make similar arrangements within our local Church to allow once again for the communal celebration of Holy Mass, which at its core is the most “essential” activity known to our world.

In these liturgical directives you will see details for the return to public Mass on May 19, 2020. The most important category of individuals to participate at Mass at this time should be those preparing to enter the Catholic Church in the weeks ahead. These directives will need strict adherence for all public liturgies, including weddings, funerals, and baptisms. The Mass you may attend in the weeks ahead will look and feel quite different from the Mass you remember from two months ago. It will be imperative for all of us – pastors, parish staff, volunteers, and all the faithful – to work together during these times. The pandemic is not over and safety precautions must be followed in order to promote the continued health and safety of everyone in our community.

Additionally I am sharing with you updated liturgical guidelines, which have been assembled by the COVID-19 Liturgical Committee. These guidelines have taken into account expert advice from the medical community, liturgical experts, and public health leaders. They are meant to assist pastors and the faithful in safely participating in Holy Mass while maintaining the sound health precautions counseled by health and government officials. Through it all, we must remember that this virus does not discriminate between gatherings; a group gathered for sacred worship is not immune by the merits of its gathering. It is only through our careful observance of these precautions that we make it possible to resume public Mass. For more information about all these guidelines and other resources, please visit www.aod.org/emergencyresponse.

When this pandemic began, I directed priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit to suspend all public Masses as we assessed the situation and explored a safe way to bring Christ to the people, both through the Word of God and the Sacraments. This was an unfortunate but necessary decision in light of the severity of the pandemic and the number of unknowns associated with this new and deadly virus. Know that I have prayed during this time for you, the faithful of southeast Michigan, especially during my private and live streamed Masses. I pray you have felt the loving comfort of Christ as you awaited the day you could return to his Real Presence in the Eucharist. And I rejoice with you and thank God today as we move toward the gradual reopening of our parish communities.

Asking the continued intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, I remain


Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit"

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been slowly allowing some business sectors closed due to COVID-19 to reopen, beginning with construction and manufacturing. While her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order is not set to expire until May 28, church services and other religious gathering are exempt.