Diocese of El Paso to lift mask mandate for vaccinated parishioners starting July 1

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Diocese of El Paso is lifting a number of mandates put in place to help protect parishioners from COVID-19, including its mask mandate.

The Diocese announced on Thursday that starting July 1, masks will be required only for anyone on church property that is 3 years and older and not vaccinated. Churches are not being asked to enforce the requirement and will rely on the honor system.

Communion will continue to be received on the hand only and communion from the chalice will resume at a later date. Those serving in parish ministries — including altar servers, volunteers and those who work in church kitchens — will be required to be fully vaccinated. Priests and all Eucharistic ministers should continue to wear masks and sanitize their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. Those receiving communion won’t be required to wear masks.

Starting Aug. 1, kermeses and other church festivals will be permitted, if the number of COVID cases in the Borderland does not rise in the coming weeks.

In addition, Catholics will be expected to attend church weekly starting Aug. 1.

“Catholics who have reached the age of reason will be once again obliged to be present at Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday if they are not otherwise impeded by a grave or contagious illness or serious disabilities,” the Diocese said in a news release.

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