Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announces mass mask mandate effective Dec. 18

BOSTON — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced Thursday that they will be reimplementing a mask mandate for all public masses, including weddings and funerals, effective Saturday, December 18.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley issued the mandate, “in the light of spiking numbers of new COVID cases and the likely increase in those numbers in the upcoming holiday season.”

Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear masks, while the archdiocese specified that those under the age of two should not.

>>>MORE: Boston mayor to get booster shot; vaccine clinics set up to encourage residents to get vaccinated

“Mass celebrants, deacons, readers, servers, choir members, and instrumentalists, should all wear masks except when they are speaking,” the church’s release reads.

“Parishes should have masks available for people inasmuch as possible, as some people attending especially on Christmas may not be expecting to need masks.”

The mandate is set to expire on January 17, 2021.

Cardinal O’Malley released a statement regarding the mandate:

“During the past two years the people we serve have greatly benefited from our priests, laity and parishioners holding safety as a priority. With recognition of recent increases of COVID we believe this policy will provide an important and enhanced level of safety during the upcoming Christmas season Masses. We continue to encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated. With care and concern for our parishioners and the wider community we hold it important to make extra efforts to limit the exposure and transmission of this deadly virus.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW