COVID-19 Updates

The Government of Alberta’s public health measures were lifted in 3 steps:

Alberta entered Step 3 on June 14 at 11:59 p.m. All remaining health restrictions were lifted at that time. Isolation became a recommendation. We are reminded that in some settings masks are still required by the Government of Alberta, including various public transit, AHS-operated and contracted facilities, and all continuing care settings. Please visit for more information.

The City of Edmonton Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw has been repealed.

All of us are invited to exercise respect, charity, and kindness toward others and recognize people’s varying comfort levels, especially during these steps of transition. While the Province no longer requires the wearing of masks, people are free, if they choose, to continue the use of face masks, including the clergy and those serving in a liturgical capacity.

We are all encouraged to observe proper hand hygiene by sanitizing our hands at any of the sanitizer  stations in the church or washing our hands regularly with soap and water.

We are encouraged to observe respiratory etiquettes, such as coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow and  promptly disposing of any used tissues in trash cans.

Thank you all for your cooperation and your care for one another.

The Archdiocese regularly updates these guidelines as new information is confirmed.

Return to Mass: COVID dispensation lifted as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022

09 May 2022


April 2022

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In March of 2020, the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories issued for the people of their respective dioceses a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation. We did this with the intent of safeguarding the health and well-being of the faithful in the midst of the global pandemic. The dispensation gave to our faithful the freedom to choose not to participate in person in large liturgical gatherings, and thus help to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we encouraged our faithful to maintain bonds of spiritual communion by participating in liturgical actions available through electronic means.

With the significant lessening in recent months of pandemic danger both provincially and globally, we are now at a stage where the necessity of maintaining the dispensation has receded. Accordingly, the Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories will lift the dispensation as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022. Each bishop will issue a decree to this effect in their respective dioceses.

Participation in Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation is a duty that is at once sacred and joyful. It springs from the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day. In the Christian tradition, the Sabbath is Sunday, when we celebrate with joy the victory of the Risen Christ over death. Regular celebration of Sunday Mass gives to our lives right order, it builds and reinforces our communion with and in Christ, it places the worship of God before all else and orients us toward our ultimate destiny in Christ.

With you, we rejoice in the return to gathering in person to worship God at Sunday Mass, and to living the Sabbath fully with our parish community, family, and friends. It is our hope that the fulfillment of our sacred duty to worship God on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will spur us along the path of spiritual renewal.

At the same time, acknowledging the continuing presence of Covid-19 in our midst, we encourage anyone showing signs of the illness, and vulnerable persons, to avail themselves of the means of spiritual communion that will continue to be available for some time still.

May the celebration of Pentecost Sunday inspire us to rejoice in worshipping the Lord always. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”

Yours sincerely in Christ,

✠Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton

Download this Letter of Reinstatement (PDF, 2 pages)

Download the Official Decree (PDF, 1 page)

STEP 2 Health & Safety Guidelines

February 28, 2022: Premier Jason Kenney has announced new public health actions that will move the Province of Alberta to Step 2 of the 3 Step plan for easing COVID-19 protocols. You can access the complete details on the 3-step implementation of the government from

Step 2 Principles

  • People are asked to exercise respect, charity, and kindness in respecting people’s comfort level, especially during these steps of transition.
    • The wearing of masks is no longer required by the Province, but people are free, if they choose, to continue the use of facemasks, including the clergy and those serving in a liturgical capacity.
    • Note: It is possible that some municipalities may have a municipal face-covering bylaw or any other health and safety measure that is not in alignment with the approach of the Province. Please check with your municipality when in doubt.
  • People who have symptoms not related to a pre-existing condition should avoid going to the church or being in public as a courtesy to others.
  • Promote proper hand hygiene by having hand washing/sanitizing posters visible and placing hand sanitizer stations in convenient and accessible locations.
  • Make every effort to encourage respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in a lined garbage bin)
  • Parishes that have been livestreaming Masses are encouraged to continue providing this service for two reasons:
    1. Allowing the parishioners to decide for themselves whether to attend Mass in person or via livestream depending on their comfort level and/or health condition(s).
    2. Maintaining this option in case the Province implements new restrictions during a resurgence of cases and/or another wave from a new variant of concern.

Liturgical Music Ministry

  • Congregational singing is allowed.
    • The use of hymnbooks may resume.
  • Choirs may resume their ministry
    • The use of a cantor/cantors without a choir remains a valid option.
    • Parishes are able to decide the size of the choir for their church.
  • In addition to the entrance hymn, communion hymn and the recessional hymn, the singing/chanting of the gloria (when indicated), responsorial psalm, gospel acclamation, offertory, and Mass parts may resume.
  • Note: Par. 4 of the Roman Missal, “During Lent, it is not permitted to decorate the altar with flowers, and the use of musical instrument is allowed only so as to support the singing. Nevertheless, Laetare Sunday (the Forth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions to this rule” (page 192).

Sunday Collection

  • Parishes have the ability to decide whether to continue with the current practice of having the collection baskets/boxes near the entrance of the nave or to resume the passing of the collection baskets.
  • Parishes that have collection baskets with the long handles are also permitted to have ushers use them in the collection.
  • Any of the approved second collection will be collected in the same manner as the Sunday collection.

Presentation of the Gifts

  • Parishes have the ability to decide whether to continue with the current practice of having the hosts and wine placed on a credence table in the sanctuary prior to Mass or to resume the offertory procession for the presentation of the gifts of the hosts, wine, and the Sunday collection.

Sign of Peace

  • At this time, the congregation is asked to exchange peace with people outside of their household with a bow and not by a handshake.

Holy Communion

  • Hand sanitizer should be made available at the credence table and near communion lines.
  • Priests who are celebrating and concelebrating must receive both the Body and Blood at every Mass.
  • Deacons, servers, lay ministers, and the faithful receive only under one species – the consecrated host.
  • Children celebrating First Communion will also only receive under one species – the consecrated host.


  • Concelebrants are allowed to receive Holy Communion by self-intinction. Other chalices will be provided. At this time, only the celebrant partakes of the Precious Blood from the main chalice.

Funeral Receptions, Parish Social Gatherings, and Private Functions

  • Funeral receptions, parish social gatherings, and private functions may now resume in parish halls.
    • It is recommended for Step 2 that food and beverages be served at food/beverage stations at funeral receptions and parish social gatherings to avoid commonly touched items and surfaces.
    • It is also recommended for Step 2 that servers serving at funeral receptions and parish social gatherings wear face masks when serving food.

These latest Public Health Emergency rules take precedence over all previous guidance.

Download the Memo:  March 1, 2022 – Step 2 – COVID 19 Memo

Download the Announcement: March 1, 2022 – COVID 19 Step 2 Announcement

Step 2 – Effective March 1:

(based on information available on February 28, 2022)

  • Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
  • Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
  • Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
  • The provincial mask mandate will be lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in high-risk settings, including on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours will be lifted
  • Mandatory work-from-home requirements will be removed.

Liturgical Guidance during COVID

The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass ENDED as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022



AB/NWT Bishops Pastoral Letter “On the Impact of COVID-19 & the Call to Christian Renewal”

Archbishop Smith’s Letters & Messages

Faith Resources

From Pope Francis

At Home

Join in an online Mass from your parish’s website or social media. If your parish does not have this, you can join with Archbishop Smith every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. from St. Joseph’s Basilica. All Basilica livestreams (including all Sunday Masses):

Only for special feast days or archdiocesan events with Archbishop Smith (except Sunday Masses), the Basilica account WILL livestream these if it happens at the Basilica:

Spiritual Communion is an act of prayer that can be used when participating in the Mass remotely.

During the Pandemic, Living With Christ is offering free Prayer Resources and Daily Mass texts. The Archbishop’s homily texts will be posted on our Messages and Homilies page.

Archdiocesan Updates for Parishes and Staff

General Updates

Human Resources

Mental Health Support

If you, or a loved one, is feeling mental health distress, please call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

  • Protecting your Mental Health – Canadian Mental Health Association page with resources on maintaining your mental health
  • Sunlife Employee Assistance Program – Available for staff who are enrolled in the Archdiocese benefits programs
  • Help in Tough Times – Alberta Health Services resources page with support for you or someone you know. You can find information on items such as COVID-19, Social support, Stress, Mental Health, Grief support, and even in finding Healthcare Services.