The Archdiocese of Newark announced today that the attendance limit for its 212 churches in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties has increased. Based on the latest New Jersey public official guidelines, the number of faithful now permitted indoors for public liturgies and Baptisms, weddings and funerals has increased to 150 participants or 25 percent of the church’s capacity, whichever is lower. The guidelines remain in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the faithful.
All protocols from Phase Three of the archdiocesan Directives for Re-Opening Churches remain in force. Masks still are required, and social distancing continues to be enforced. Parishes continue to sanitize pews and other common surfaces after each Mass.
Mass attendance remains voluntary. Those who do not feel safe or who have compromising health conditions should not participate at this time.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains in place, and many parishes continue to offer livestream Masses on their websites or Facebook pages to maintain a spiritual connection with their parish communities. For a full list, check this link: www.rcan.org/parish-mass-livestreams-and-more.
"While Mass is not obligatory, those who feel comfortable doing so should make an attempt to join their parish community for Mass," stated Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark. "If, for any reason, one should refrain from physically attending Mass, do your best to pray the Mass via livestream. Our common prayer in the Church of Newark is important during these challenging times. May our Lord bring comfort and peace to all those who are affected by the pandemic in any way."
The Archdiocese remains committed to the health and well-being of its people and will continue to monitor trends and consult with the expert guidance of public health, state and federal officials, and will adjust restrictions as appropriate.
More information about COVID-19 protocols and expectations of parishes and Mass participants is available on the Archdiocese of Newark’s COVID-19 Response website at www.rcan.org/Covid19.