March 14, 2023
New Directive Eliminates Remaining Pandemic Restrictions
The Archdiocese of Newark announced that Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, has restored the practice of offering consecrated wine, or the Blood of Christ, during the celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese beginning on Holy Thursday, April 6.
The practice of the faithful partaking of the chalice has been on hiatus since 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns and safety restrictions. Only priests have been permitted to receive Communion from the cup during Mass over the past three years.
“Although it is not required, taking from the cup is considered a fuller participation in the Eucharist and a direct response to Jesus’ command to take and drink,” said Father Thomas A. Dente, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Divine Worship, which announced the post-pandemic liturgy directive.
The directive also calls for the Archdiocese to foster a renewed fullness in liturgical celebrations and to discontinue remaining pandemic restrictions or accommodations. This includes the return of holy water in receptacles and baptismal fonts, the full incorporation of liturgical music , for Eucharistic ministers, altar servers, and lay readers to resume full service in their role, and full participation of the faithful.
Livestream or broadcast Masses remain a valuable resource for those who are unable to attend due to illness or major health concerns. But, as the directive points out, for those without health concerns, this does not fulfill the obligation to participate in Mass.
“Emerging from a period of necessary adjustment during a unique moment in time, the
Archdiocese of Newark earnestly desires to celebrate the liturgy with the full, conscious,
and active participation of all the faithful,” the directive states. “Mindful that most of the faithful’s experience of the Church occurs during liturgy, it is imperative that the liturgical norms be carefully observed.”