Mass cancellation notice in Denver

A cancellation notice on the door of Mother of God Catholic Church in Denver on March 15, 2020. All three Colorado dioceses cancelled Masses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

With advice to Catholics to attend on weekdays — and even then not more than once or twice per month — the Archdiocese of Denver announced that May 9 will see the resumption of Masses in its jurisdiction.

“It is important for everyone to realize that the 149 locations where Mass is typically celebrated across northern Colorado vary in size and capabilities,” read a letter from Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez. “Thus, how the public celebration of the Mass resumes will be different at each parish.”

The guidelines for resuming services refer to safeguarding the health of others as a “moral duty of Christians,” and ask that parishioners over age three wear face masks. Groups should not exceed 10 people, although larger or outdoor spaces that can safely accommodate multiple groups may be an option for parishes. Pastors do not have to abide by the historical Mass schedules and may instead plan for up to two services per day and three on Sundays. They can use online sign-up websites for managing attendance.

Among changes to the proceedings themselves, the guidelines from the archdiocese recommend using one or two singers, instead of a choir.

“It has been demonstrated that singing can increase the spread of the virus, thus congregational singing is not encouraged during this time,” the archdiocese wrote.

Parishioners will continue to receive a dispensation from attendance if they do not feel safe in public spaces due to the pandemic threat. The dioceses of Pueblo and Colorado Springs have not indicated when they will resume in-person Masses.

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