Welcome to our page of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding safe return to in-person worship.

This page was updated on April 23, 2022.

Una versión en español de esta página está aquí.

General principles

As long as we continue to have surges of Covid infection, we need to follow some safety rules. However, now that a respectable percentage of the eligible population in our area has been vaccinated, many of our churches can shift to less-stringent protocols. Please follow these general principles:

  • Requiring masks is at the discretion of church leadership unless your county’s health department mandates them during a surge. If that becomes the case, suitable masks should be worn inside during worship (except for preachers and readers, who may remove their masks during sermons and readings).
  • Clergy, lay Eucharistic ministers and choir members must be fully vaccinated.
  • All clergy, lay ministers and congregants should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
  • Social distancing should be observed at individuals’ discretion. Be careful of those who may be immunocompromised, including young children and the elderly.
  • Masks need not be worn outside, though this also may be left to individual discretion.
  • All who are vaccinated are welcome to sing in church. Bishop Taylor requests that all active choir members be fully vaccinated.
  • No one knows the physical layout and constraints of your churches better than you. We encourage you, as church leaders, to take into account your own situation and establish practices that work best within the principles outlined above.

Mandatory practices for in-person Eucharist

Celebrant and eucharistic ministers should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer in sight of the congregation before beginning the prayer of consecration. Gloves are recommended. Masking is optional: see general principles, above.
Rules for distribution of wine at communion were recently updated in a message from the Bishop’s Commission on Liturgy and Music:

While receiving in one kind only (the consecrated Bread) continues to be an option in the Diocese of Los Angeles, effective on Palm Sunday (April 10, 2022), Bishop Taylor has approved the option of returning to the prayer book-preferred option of receiving both the consecrated Bread and Wine – which can be done in any of the following ways, in no particular order of preference, as our missions and parishes may deem best:

  • Option One: After the Breaking of the Bread, use the flagon of consecrated wine to fill small, individual chalices (cups) and distribute them to the people in the manner customary for the parish (by lay persons, deacons, or priests).
  • Option Two: After the Breaking of the Bread, use the flagon of consecrated wine to fill small household (individual or family) chalices (cups), brought forward by individuals or family groups (filled by lay persons, deacons, or priests as is customary for the distribution for the parish).
  • Option Three: Have the communion minister intinct the wafer and place it in the communicant’s hand.
  • Option Four: Receive the wine directly from a common chalice with a non-porous surface (silver or similar metal), assuming a wine with a high alcohol content (such as typical communion port wines) and the minister carefully wipes and turns the chalice between communicants.

NOTE: Intinction by the communicant in the common chalice is strongly discouraged. Public health guidelines indicate that it actually increases the risk for infection spread because fingertips (which could dip into the wine during the procedure) may be more contaminated than saliva and are more likely to harbor pathogens.

What if someone in my congregation/institution is diagnosed with COVID-19?

  1. Notify all who were potentially exposed.
  2. Maintain confidentiality when communicating with others.
  3. Provide information about current quarantine, symptom monitoring, and testing options. California’s state government has a website with extensive resources here.

In addition, each county within the Diocese of Los Angeles has its own resource web pages: