The Archdiocese of Boston announced this morning that parishes that take certain steps could re-open for Masses as early as Saturday evening.
Parishes will have to ask permission from higher authorities - and prove they have taken steps to minimize, if not entirely eliminate, the risk their members will spread or contract Covid-19.
Parishes should not resume Masses before they are ready, and the decision to delay the resumption of Masses until May 31 may very well be the best decision for a parish.
Also, the archdiocese's Office of Risk Management advises:
SOME COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING THE CITIES OF BOSTON AND SOMERVILLE, MAY HAVE LOCAL MUNICIPAL ORDERS THAT ARE STRICTER THAN THOSE OF THE STATE, AND THOSE MUST BE RESPECTED.
The advisory continues:
The dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will continue for the foreseeable future.
Cardinal Seán strongly encourages people in vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with complicating physical conditions, to continue to watch Mass from their homes, on their parish’s social media or on CatholicTV.
Parishes need to have a way of limiting the number of people who come into the church. A viable option may be to make use of a registration package like SignUpGenius or EventBrite. Signing up by phone or email should also be an option.
No matter what option a parish chooses, the pastor must be able to ensure that the size of the congregation in the church is not more than 40% of capacity and not more than the church can fit with social distancing maintained.