Parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have been told to “discontinue indoor Masses and other liturgical services” after new statewide restrictions on indoor activities aimed at slowing the summer spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases were announced Monday by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
An email with new guidelines sent to parishes around the archdiocese July 13, however, noted that the re-closure allows for services outdoors.
Parishes may continue to celebrate Confessions, First Communions, Confirmations, Funerals, and Weddings outdoors on the parish grounds,” read the memo.
Guidelines issued to the parishes stated that “face coverings and social distancing are required for any services held outdoors.”
The email sent Monday night to parish pastors in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties — all of which are among the 30 California counties included in Newsom’s order — called the restrictions “discouraging and disappointing” but also mentioned the importance of public safety.
“This is a good time to remind all of our parishioners that the risk of coronavirus is real, and it is dangerous,” read the message. “While these Orders are discouraging and disappointing, this is the time to pray for one another, trust in Jesus, and focus on the care and love he has for each one of us.”
Parishes in the archdiocese had just begun to reopen to the public following a phased reopening plan last month after being closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those guidelines required that parishes take several safety and sanitary precautions, including capacity limits of 100 people per service.
In addition to houses of worship, the July 13 restrictions also ordered closure of bars, gyms, hair salons, malls, zoos and museums, as well as indoor dining. State officials have not said when the restrictions may be lifted again.
The above comes from a Jan. 14 story in Angelus News
Orange diocese falls in line
Statement from the Diocese of Orange Response to Gov. Newsom’s July 13 mandate regarding statewide closure of indoor activities in houses of worship. We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the health of our parishioners while preserving their religious and essential right to attend Mass. Given the increase in Covid-19 cases in the state of California and the county of Orange, and for the sake of the common good, the diocese of Orange will be advising our parishes to suspend indoor services until further notice. However, we encourage our parishes to offer outdoor Masses with proper Covid-19 safety protocols and to continue their livestreaming of services to the faithful.
The above comes from a July 14 statement released by the Orange Diocese.