COVID update COVID cases are increasing in some counties and decreasing in others. We will continue to track the rates and will adjust guidance accordingly. While masks are no longer required, please keep other forms of mitigation in place, including hand washing and good ventilation.
Holy Week guidance Even with lifting most restrictions, parishes are asking for clarifications about celebrating Holy Week liturgies, which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 over the past two years. As our liturgical life returns to normal, Holy Week should be celebrated as fully as possible, in accordance with the rubrics found in the Roman Missal. Specifically:
Palm Sunday - Processions and distribution of palms should take place as usual.
Holy Thursday - The washing of the feet is once again permitted (this ritual gesture is always optional, but encouraged), and the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament and adoration can take place as usual.
Good Friday - Individual veneration of the cross should take place during the liturgy, as indicated in the Roman Missal.
Easter Vigil - Baptisms can take place much as usual.
At this point, the shared chalice is still not permitted. There is a strong encouragement in the ritual texts that the neophytes baptized at the Easter Vigil, and candidates for full communion, receive holy Communion under both species. This is permitted, provided a separate chalice can be provided for each of the newly baptized/newly received.
Singing As stated before, some musical elements may be reintroduced:
Parishes may bring back as many cantors as fit safely 6-9 feet part. All must wear masks.
Congregations may respond in song to the alleluia and responsorial psalms and chanted dialogue parts of the Mass (e.g., "The Lord be with you. And with your spirit") and minimal verses of hymns.
Concerts and musicals are allowed and should follow the Department of Health K-12 performance guidance with special attention to guidance around spacing and requirements for the audience (page 16, K-12 Schools Requirements 2021-2022 (wa.gov).