LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Archdiocese of Louisville will resume in-person services beginning Wednesday, May 20.
In a letter to parishioners, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz outlined precautions including masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I don't take lightly the efforts that are being made to return and to participation in mass,” Kurtz said. “But I also don't take very lightly the yearning that people have legitimately to participate in the Eucharist.”
Social distancing is a key part of the archdiocese plans to re-open area parishes, and seating will be limited.
People attending will be asked to wear masks. Only families or members of the same household will be allowed to sit together; others will stay six feet apart.
When it comes to communion, priests or deacons will be required to wear a mask.
Kurtz said the decisions were made after consultations with the governor and the Kentucky Council of Churches.
“So, we are cooperating with them,” Kurtz said. “So, in that sense, I guess I am as confident as others are who are engaged in the public arena, whether it be grocery stores or other places that are still involved in interacting with others.”
Funerals and weddings will also be allowed to resume provided that social distancing requirements are met.
Church choirs will not be allowed to gather or sing together, but parishes will be allowed to hold masses outdoors or conduct drive-in services in their parking lots.
The decision affects the 110 parishes of the Louisville Archdiocese but not every parish will be able to open. Some will remain closed if they are unable to meet safety guidelines or if the priest might be vulnerable to the disease.