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Norwich Diocese allows weekday Masses beginning June 8

Bishop Michael Cote has announced that churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich that can fully implement the guidelines he has released may resume weekday Masses beginning June 8. The public celebration of Mass on Sundays and on Saturday evenings remains suspended until further notice.

Cote released the coronavirus guidelines to pastors in the diocese on Wednesday. Worshippers must wear a mask when attending a service, unless they are under 5 or a medical condition prevents them from safely doing so, and hand sanitizer will be placed at entrances where possible.

Pews will be sectioned off to maintain 6 feet in all directions, with available seating clearly marked. There will also be floor markings for people waiting to receive Holy Communion, which will take place after Mass has ended.

The diocese says one "does not need to receive Holy Communion each time one attends Mass," and encourages those uncomfortable with it at this time to instead "make an act of spiritual Communion."

The diocese says worship is still limited to 50 people, per executive orders from Gov. Ned Lamont.

"Parishes are being encouraged to continue with live-streaming liturgies for those faithful who cannot or may not feel comfortable attending in person," the diocese says on its website. "The elderly, those in vulnerable populations or with underlying health conditions, and those experiencing any symptoms of illness are asked to follow the most up to date health regulations and guidelines and remain home."

On Sundays, the diocese encourages the faithful to read and reflect on the Sunday scriptures, pray the rosary or watch Mass on TV or the internet.

e.moser@theday.com

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