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COVID-19

The COVID-19 website page has been created to provide the latest updates for parishes and schools regarding notices, preventative measures and closings, as necessary.  We are closely monitoring the situation and following the expertise of the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education as well as the Center of Disease Control (CDC) in order to ensure the health and well-being of our community.  Please visit for the latest updates.

Church Reopening

Message from Bishop Coyne:

As of June 14, the Vermont Department of Health announced that there are no longer any state Covid-19 restrictions or requirements for Vermonters or visitors to follow.  Since vaccination rates in Vermont are at 80 percent and Covid-19 cases are low, churches may remove all Covid restrictions and return to the regular celebration of Mass and all other pre-pandemic parish activities.

A statement on the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation will be issued soon.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

 

Christopher J. Coyne
Most Reverend Bishop of Burlington

 

Download Protocols: Resuming Public Celebration of the Liturgy Phase 5

or view by topic below.

 
I. General Guidelines for All Liturgies

This section provides general protocols and recommendations for all liturgies.

Phase III Protocols published on April 27, 2021.

A. CAPACITY

Churches may return to full capacity with no need for physical distancing.

B. MUSICIANS

Choirs and other music groups may resume at the discretion of the pastor and music directors.

C. PROTOCOLS FOR ATTENDING MASS

Bishop Coyne will soon issue directives and guidance for the re-establishment of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  All clergy are invited to attend a zoom meeting this Tuesday, June 22, at 10:00 AM.  Details for attending were sent out in a previous email.

D. MASKS

Masks are no longer mandatory; however, parishes are still encouraged to have a supply of masks available at the entrances should a parishioner desire to use one. The use of masks is at the discretion of each individual persons. Those who minister at Mass are not to be refused the opportunity to minister solely based on their decision to wear or not wear a mask.

E. HAND SANITIZER

Hand sanitizer should be placed at each entrance and in the sanctuary. At the entrances, a sign should be posted alerting people to the availability of hand sanitizer and encouraging its use.

F. SANITATION & CIRCULATION
  1. Communion vessels — patens, chalices, ciboria are purified as usual during or after Mass; then they MUST be washed with a mild dish soap and hot water AFTER EACH USE, even if this requires transporting the vessels to the rectory or another location with hot water.
  2. During the celebration of liturgy, windows and doors should remain open when possible to increase air circulation.
II. During the Mass

This section provides protocols and recommendations to implement during Mass.

A. PROCESSION

Processions may take place as usual and in the customary format.

B. MINISTERS

All ministers may resume their liturgical duties.

C. ALTAR & GIFTS

The Preparation of the Altar and Gifts (the Offertory) may take place as usual: setting the vessels on the altar and preparing them, the procession from the assembly with the gifts of bread and wine, the collection, etc.

D. SIGN OF PEACE

Physical contact during the Sign of Peace is discouraged between people of different households. Parishes are encouraged to put the following (or similar) notice in the bulletin: “As we move past the pandemic, please be aware that some people may still choose to greet you at the Sign of Peace simply with a nod of the head or a smile.”

E. DISTRIBUTION OF HOLY COMMUNION

Communion of the faithful will be under the species of bread alone.