Archdiocese adapts current COVID-19 health protocols

May 25, 2021

HOUSTON — In a May 19 letter to the faithful, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo announced new modifications to the COVID-19 health protocols regarding Liturgical celebrations and parish gatherings in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cardinal DiNardo modified liturgical celebrations and non-liturgical parish gatherings within the Archdiocese to “prevent these gatherings from becoming sources of community spread for the virus,” he said in the letter. “These modifications were aimed at the common good of all who live within our communities. The local pandemic situation is greatly improved.”

Beginning May 22, social distancing is no longer required during liturgical celebrations, and parish churches and chapels may be filled to 100% of the building’s occupancy load, according to the letter. Masks and face coverings will also not be required, but they are encouraged, the letter said.

Also starting May 22, the temporary suspension of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is removed. Holy Communion may be received on the tongue, or in the hand, at the communicant’s discretion. However, the temporary suspension of receiving Holy Communion under the appearance of wine from a common chalice remains in effect until further notice.

The general dispensation from the Sunday obligation still remains in effect for all Catholics within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

To read the Cardinal DiNardo’s full letter to the faithful, visit