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Cardinal Blase Cupich wears face mask as he celebrates Holy Thursday Mass

The Archbishop observed social distancing and omitted feet washing during service

Wearing a face mask because of coronavirus precautions, Cardinal Blase Cupich celebrates Holy Thursday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal Blase Cupich celebrated Holy Thursday Mass in a face mask, marking an unusual sight to start the Easter Tridiuum in an empty Holy Name Cathedral.

The archbishop of Chicago wore the mask during the entrance procession and throughout the pre-recorded online Mass on Thursday, but removing it while speaking, singing and praying. He has been supportive of efforts to slow the coronavirus pandemic by closing all archdiocesan churches, suspending public Masses and encouraging precautionary measures.

He also observed social distancing, sitting an increased distance from Fr. Bill Vollmer, who concelebrated the multilingual Mass and preached the homily. The Sign of Peace where parishioners shake each other’s hands was observed by Cupich with a subtle bow instead of a handshake.

The Holy Thursday liturgy commemorates the Last Supper and usually reenacts the washing of the feet of the Apostles, but this year Cupich asked that the feet washing be eliminated from all Masses.

The archdiocese has been streaming daily Masses in English on its website and Sunday Masses in English, Polish and Spanish. They will broadcast Good Friday services starting at 3 p.m., Holy Saturday Mass at 8 p.m. and Easter Sunday Mass at 6 a.m.

In addition to the livestream, WGN-AM (720) will broadcast the Easter Vigil at 10 p.m. Saturday and Easter Mass at 9 a.m. Sunday. ABC-7 will televise the Easter Mass at 9 a.m. Sunday.