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Catholics rejoice: Masses with Holy Water, full choirs and communion on the tongue are allowed again

The archdiocese announced new COVID-19 protocols in accordance with the city’s reopening Friday.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, 835 N. Rush St.
The Archdiocese of Chicago, 835 N. Rush St.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times file

Attending Mass will be all but back to normal after the Archdiocese of Chicago lifted crowd restrictions, allowed Holy Water fonts to be filled again, singing to resume and signed off on taking Communion on the tongue Thursday.

After a year that saw services move online when churches were forced to close and then later reopen with limited capacity and major restrictions, the archdiocese announced all masses, liturgies, sacramental celebrations and parish and school events can resume at 100% capacity as the city reopens fully Friday.

What’s more, vaccinated people can enter without masks and don’t have to show proof of inoculations, the church said. Masks are still recommended for unvaccinated children and adults, although their vaccination status will not be checked.

The only exception to the mask rule “is a priest or deacon celebrating infant baptism. He should continue to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status when he is close to the infant’s nose and mouth to protect the health of the infant,” officials said.

Singing inside, which was identified early on as a high-risk activity, is allowed again.

Other changes include:

  • Receiving Holy Communion on the tongue may resume, however, receiving Holy Communion from the cup remains suspended.
  • The Sign of Peace can be restored in whatever form is comfortable for those at Mass.
  • Choirs, congregational singing, oral responses and the use of worship aids, envelopes and bulletins may be fully resumed.
  • The COVID-19 Anointing Team will be deactivated beginning July 1, and parishes will resume providing anointers for hospitals within their area.

Protocols and guidelines for school-related activities, mission trips and summer camps will be announced at a later time and will include some exceptions noted in the list.