LITURGICAL CONSIDERATIONS - ARCHDIOCESE OF INDIANAPOLIS
(APRIL 27, 2021)
The general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in place in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and throughout the whole State of Indiana until further notice. When the decision is made to let the general dispensation expire, advanced notice and instructions about how individuals may still be dispensed from the obligation will be given.
Resources are being prepared to assist parishes with inviting and encouraging the members of their communities to return to Eucharist with joy, emphasizing how participation in the Eucharistic celebration is a privilege and a gift and essential to our life of faith.
All Mass participants are to continue to wear a face covering (except while reading or leading prayer), while maintaining some distance between individuals and/or household groups as you are able. Some communities have begun to offer a hybrid model of seating and spacing, giving members of the congregation the option of either more or less distancing in separate areas of the church. The determination of distancing may be made at the local parish level.
All priests and other ministers of Holy Communion must wear a face covering while distributing Holy Communion.
The distribution of Holy Communion only under the species of bread is to be maintained along with exchanging the Sign of Peace without physical contact.
If not already happening, the safe reintroduction of lay liturgical ministers, the gifts procession during the offertory, and collections without passing a basket from person to person may resume.
Holy water fonts and baptismal fonts may be filled and blessed at your discretion. For the baptism of children, it is encouraged that the determination of whether or not to use a separately blessed vessel of water be discussed with the parents of the children. The use of a cotton ball for anointing may also continue.
Depending on the size of a congregation and the size of the worship space, it may remain prudent to limit congregational singing at Masses, especially when distancing is minimal. Congregational singing overall is not being forbidden or even discouraged, but caution should be taken when considering how much is sung by a larger number of people. Using just a cantor and an instrumentalist or a socially distant quartet is allowed. At this time, full choirs are not permitted in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
A return to a more normal, pre-pandemic practice of the cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces is now encouraged, as it has been shown that transmission of COVID-19 through contact with surfaces is unlikely.