Churches in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will fully reopen next weekend, the archdiocese announced June 12.

In a letter to LA Catholics, Archbishop José Gomez announced that he would be lifting the dispensation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation on June 19, 2021. The dispensation will still be granted to those who are ill or have underlying health concerns.

“We continue to make significant progress in our fight against the pandemic in the three counties of the Archdiocese,” the archbishop wrote. “We can look forward to better days in which we can actively live our faith as the Body of Christ in our parish communities.”

Churches in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties had been closed to in-person worship since March of 2020, when Covid-19 restrictions began across the country. In December 2020, LA County officials lifted their ban on indoor religious services following a series of court cases that argued the pandemic restrictions were in violation of religious freedoms.

The Archdiocese also announced new liturgical guidelines, effective June 15, which replace the previous pandemic-related restrictions.

Notably, liturgical celebrations, including Mass, first communions, confirmations, weddings, baptisms, funerals, and quinceañeras, can now be held indoors, with no capacity limitations, social distancing requirements, or reservations. Parishes are allowed to resume prayer group meetings and other social gatherings.

Following the CDC’s loosened guidelines on mask wearing, fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear masks for Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Masks are required for unvaccinated worshippers outdoors when social distancing is not possible, and at all times indoors. Parishes are not to verify who is and who is not vaccinated.

The guidelines allow for the resumption of liturgical singing, but continue to restrict communion distribution to bread only.

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected our world… in ways we could never have imagined,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in his letter. “However… it brought us closer together as one family seeking the good and wellbeing of the other.

“We remain strong in our faith knowing that God will always be by our side.”

For a full list of guidelines, and more information, visit

The above comes from a June 12 story on Angelus News.

Oakland, too

Bishop Barber of Oakland diocese writes in a letter dated June 15:

Starting June 15, the main change is that if you have been vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask for indoor worship. If you have not been vaccinated, you are asked to wear a mask indoors for your own protection. There are no more restrictions on social distancing and seating limits for indoor worship. We can take down the ropes and taped closures of pews. If parishes wish to continue having a Mass outsideno one is required to wear a mask at all. Please post signs on your church doors, in your bulletins, and on your websites and social media to announce these changes. Please see the attached revised guidelines for more details.
Pastors please note: these protocols are all on the “honor system”. No one should be forced or requested to “prove” their vaccination status to participate in worship.  No one should be criticized if they choose not to be vaccinated, and/or wear a mask inside our churches. The “mask rules” for offices, schools, travel, public transportation, and businesses are still being worked out by government health officials. But church-goers may dispense with the mask if they have been vaccinated.  Our ushers and greeters should extend a warm welcome and answer questions about the new policy, but they should never be used as “mask police”. 
You may, but are not required, to continue live-streaming Mass. It’s better to come together in person for the Eucharist. But if significant numbers of your parishioners are ill, vulnerable, or not ready to attend in person, you may wish to continue the live stream option temporarily.