As we continue to shelter in place to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we now face the prospect of celebrating Holy Week without our people present in our churches. This scenario presents a number of considerations for steps to be taken to protect our people while allowing them to follow these most sacred ceremonies to the extent possible. The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments recently issued a decree giving instructions in the regard, and Archbishop Leonard Blair, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, sent a letter to bishops giving some further indications for our Bishops’ Conference.

After reviewing these documents and consulting with the deans, the vicar general and the vicars for clergy, I am now issuing these specific instructions (Click here for Full PDF) for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. It is to be understood that these instructions apply only to Holy Week of 2020, and that the ceremonies described…are to be carried out with the number of ministers required for the service to be conducted, but without an assembly physically in attendance.