First church services since Archdiocese of Chicago announces new mask rules

Evelyn Holmes Image
Sunday, May 23, 2021
First Sunday mass since new mask rules announced
Chicago area churches will hold Sunday services for the first time since the Archdiocese of Chicago announced new mask rules.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Holy Name Cathedral held its first Sunday service this weekend since the Archdiocese of Chicago relaxed its rules when it comes to wearing masks.

"Eventually it will be great because that will mean the pandemic is going to end soon and we can get back to normal, hopefully," said parishioner Carol Branka.

Right now, masks are still required for services at Holy Name, but they may not be at other churches following the recent changes.

After more than a year of not going to church because of the pandemic, Angela Luby is one of many Roman Catholics in the Chicago area who is heading back to in-person worship.

"This is my first time back since March 2020," she said. "I'm very anxious to be back. There's an excitement about it. I feel more at ease now."

The changes are being made in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new mask guidelines.

The archdiocese will allow parishes two options for Masses and liturgies:

  • Fully vaccinated people can go to church without a mask as long as they provide verifiable proof of vaccination.
  • The other option churches have is to require masks for all worshipers until the state reaches the final stage of reopening.
  • "You're used wearing to it now, you know, and you got so many regulations, you want to try to behave," said churchgoer Richard Kijowski.

    While Kijowski has continued to follow the church's rules, the veteran said he has thought for a long time that mask-wearing was unnecessary.

    "I don't think you need them," he said. "I disagree with the whole shebang that we've had here the last 15 months."

    The archdiocese expects parishes with fewer resources to verify vaccinations to stick with requiring masks.

    With these new mask rules, there will also be an increase in capacity at Holy Name Cathedral. Folks here said it's an indication that things are finally getting back to normal.