Expired Directives and Guidelines

COVID-19 Archive

May 22, 2021

Announcement Regarding Mass Obligation

May 19, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Pentecost Sunday

Additional Expired Guidelines

January 27, 2021

January 21, 2021

November 26, 2020

Supreme Court Ruling

Latest ruling from the Supreme Court in regards to the Dioces of Buffalo. 

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November 19, 2020

Precautions during COVID-19 resurge

Press Release

Adhering to the State of New York public health guidelines to mitigate the risks of the Covid-19 resurgence throughout WNY, the Diocese of Buffalo will implement the Department of Health guidelines for public gatherings and places of worship for all parishes.

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October 20, 2020

Christmas during COVID-19

Guidelines and Suggestions for planning and celebrating Christmas in the COVID-19 era can be found hereThe current Diocesan Liturgical Guidelines will still be in effect throughout the Christmas Season.

June 6, 2020

Allowance for Parish Reopenings

Diocese of Buffalo welcomes allowance for parish reopenings Parishes that are prepared to welcome up to 33% of capacity, following Diocesan established protocols may do so as soon as possible. 

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May 21, 2020

Guidelines for Returning to Parish Life

The Diocese of Buffalo has issued guidance for parish pastors and administrators – Forward in Faith – detailing the preparations and precautions they must follow in preparing to resume liturgical services and the celebration of sacraments as the novel coronavirus threat continues.

April 22, 2020

Sacramental Updates

The most recent mandate was for a “stay-at-home” measures to exist until at least 5/15/20 in New York State. This means that we cannot expect any Masses or Liturgical Celebration with a normal congregation before that time. Our Churches are permitted to remain open for private prayer at the discreation of the Pastor. The Pastor retains the right to limit or forbid such private prayer in his church should he deem it to be a safety or security liability. Update on Supplemental Sacramental and Liturgical Directives Post Coronavirus from 6/19/2020: (PDF)

March 31, 2020

No Distribution of Palms

Due to the ongoing and growing threat of the novel coronavirus throughout Western New York, there will be no distribution of palms during Palm Sunday weekend or in the days following. We sincerely regret this development. However, due to the inability to ensure the safe handling of palms, and in order to prevent risk to those most vulnerable to the coronavirus, this additional precaution has been required. We thank you for your understanding and continue to encourage all of the Diocese of Buffalo to stay united in prayer for those who have succumbed or are afflicted due to the virus, as well as their loved ones.

March 20, 2020

There are NOT to be any public celebrations. even outside including live Stations of the Cross. No public celebrations of Mass or Communion Services. The Celebration of Reconciliation (Confession) is allowed ONLY in grave situations as well as Anointing of the Sick. There is no distribution of Palms for Palm Sunday 

March 15, 2020

Public Masses Cancelled

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger announces that there will be no regularly scheduled public Masses in the Diocese of Buffalo until further notice due to an abundance of caution and growing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus. Churches may remain open, as locally feasible, and the faithful are encouraged to continue to visit and pray while maintaining a prudent distance from one another.

All Catholic Schools are Closed

All Catholic elementary schools in Western New York are closed today, Monday, March 16, 2020 due to emergency declarations by the Governor of New York and area county governments. Starting Tuesday, March 17th, all schools will remain closed for various lengths of time. Schools in the City of Buffalo and in Erie County are closed until Monday, April 20th. Niagara, Genesee, Chautauqua and Allegany Counties have closed schools until further notice. Cattaraugus County has closed their schools until Monday, April 13th.

Livestream Mass

If you are uncomfortable attending Mass, use one of many parish livestreams available across the Diocese.