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9/23/20 Liturgical Update

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

The latest directives from the Diocesan Office of Worship can be found: [HERE] and is copied below for your convenience.

To: Clergy, Parishes and Catholic Faithful

From: Deacon Modesto Cordero, Director Office of Worship

Date: September 23, 2020

RE: Update on COVID-19 Protocols

Today, the City and County of Honolulu presented new protocols for Tier 1 implementation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are updated directives and reminders that impact all Catholic churches, chapels, oratories, centers, and missions in the diocese of Honolulu, including all islands.

Changes to prior diocesan directives and/or protocols:

* Singing is now allowed by using ONE instrumentalist and ONE cantor ONLY (both need to wear a face covering at all times). The congregation should not sing at this time. The use of wind instruments is still prohibited. A distance of 10 feet between the cantor and the congregation needs to be observed as much as possible. However, the use of instrumental music only during any liturgical celebration is still highly recommended during the duration of the Tier 1.

* Priests, deacons and other duly commissioned extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion – who are not at high risk of infection themselves -- may now take Communion to the homebound, always exercising proper hygiene procedures and wearing masks.

* In-person church meetings may resume (with no more than 5 people), IF proper social distancing and the wearing of masks is observed. Otherwise, meetings should continue to be conducted virtually.

* Wakes, prayer services and burials at Funeral Homes and cemeteries are to follow the 10 people rule as indicated in the order. Funerals in church follow the same protocols as regular Masses.

* Churches may now remain open during the day for private prayer at the discretion of the pastor and observing whatever guidelines he may establish.

Reminders from prior diocesan directives and/or protocols:

* Parish churches, chapels, oratories, centers, and missions will continue offering inperson services (i.e. Daily and Sunday Mass, Funeral Masses, Weddings, Baptisms, Confirmation/First Holy Communion Masses) and other spiritual services following the prior published directives and guidelines from the State, the CDC and the diocese. Approved by Bishop Larry Silva on September 23, 2020.

* The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday continues to be dispensed through October 31, 2020.

* As an act of charity, anyone who is sick or who is particularly vulnerable to infection should not attend Mass at this time.

* We encourage parish priests to start/continue live-streaming their liturgies to their parishioners via social media platforms and to communicate to them the times of these services and log-in information for their parish’s Facebook and/or website. Daily and Sunday Mass are currently being livestreamed from various parishes in our diocese. For a comprehensive and updated list please visit our website at

* Face coverings (masks or mask/face shields) will be worn at ALL times by all who participate at the Mass during the liturgical celebration. For those ministers with respiratory issues the use of a face shield instead of a face mask is highly recommended.

* Priests are reminded that they can still hear confessions by appointment only. Please observe good spacing between the penitent and priest, while at the same time observing absolute privacy for the penitent. Confessions by phone or via the internet are not permitted. General absolution is not permitted, because it presumes a gathering of people.

* No social gathering (e.g. coffee and donuts) may be held after Mass or any religious services.

* Immediately after Mass or any religious event the church will be sanitized according to the protocol adopted by the parish.

* Religious Education, Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Faith Formation may continue following the proper guidelines provided by the Office of Religion Education and Faith Formation.

All prior memos, directives and protocols are still in effect unless changed in this memo. For any additional questions or concerns contact me at or (808) 585- 3342.


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