Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has issued a new mask-related mandate for all parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The mandate is for the entire archdiocese, regardless of local health directives.
Effective immediately, Archbishop Rozanski has mandated that masks are required for entry into all churches and must be worn during the entirety of the Mass, except at the moment of receiving Holy Communion. Masks must entirely cover a person’s nose and mouth.
Additionally, all altar servers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist must wear masks. Priests and deacons are required to wear a mask when entering the church, but may remove the mask when celebrating Mass from the altar to speak or preach, as long as at least six feet of social distancing is maintained from the congregation.
Priests and deacons are strongly encouraged to wear masks throughout the Mass, especially when social distancing from concelebrants is not possible, except when speaking or preaching. Priests and deacons must wear a mask when distributing Holy Communion.
Cantors may remove their mask when singing, as long as social distancing is maintained from the rest of the congregation. Readers and lectors also may remove their mask when reading at the ambo, as long as proper social distancing is maintained from the rest of the congregation.
A general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation remains in place for all Catholics of the archdiocese until further notice, as many individuals continue to have concerns for the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. Parishioners who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another person with the virus should not come to church, in accordance with national, state and local health directives. Attendees should take their temperature at home before determining whether they should attend Mass. Many parishes offer livestreamed Masses for those who wish to participate from home.
Since the start of the pandemic, Missouri has reported 475,791 cases and 7,881 deaths as of Feb. 23. (Source: showmestrong.mo.gov)
For more information on the Archdiocese’s response to the pandemic, see