March 25, 2020

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Announces Additional Liturgical Guidelines For The Celebration Of Palm Sunday And The Sacred Paschal Triduum

Today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP) announced that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez’s previous directive to suspend the celebration of all public Masses in the Archdiocese until further notice remains in effect.

Updated liturgical guidelines developed by the Archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship and approved by the Archbishop were shared with all priests and deacons yesterday. They pertain to the celebration of Palm Sunday and the Sacred Paschal Triduum as well as the ongoing pastoral and temporal response of our local Church in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These liturgical guidelines are intended to provide for the pastoral needs of the faithful while respecting and abiding by directives from government agencies concerning gatherings and crowd sizes.  

Condensed highlights are presented below. A full copy of the most recent guidelines, along with comprehensive information and resources, can be found at

    • The March 17, 2020 suspension of all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia remains in effect until further notice. This includes all Sunday and weekday Masses with the faithful. Priests will continue to offer Holy Mass privately during this period and to honor all requested Mass intentions.
    • All churches, following a possible published modified schedule, are to be open and available for the faithful to pray, especially to visit the Most Blessed Sacrament, in a manner that respects and follows current guidelines from governmental agencies concerning crowd sizes and gatherings.
    • Although Palm Sunday Mass will not be celebrated publicly, the palm distributed to the faithful on this day has great meaning. Palm is to be blessed and available for distribution at a later time determined locally.
    • The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Masses are not to be celebrated publicly.
    • The Chrism Mass will not be celebrated publicly. Instead, Archbishop Pérez will celebrate it in a private manner at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
    • The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is further postponed until Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. That timeline will be re-examined pending future development. The bishop celebrant of the conferral of Confirmation, in consultation with the pastor, will make arrangements for a new date for the celebration.
    • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will continue to stream the 11:00 a.m. Mass live from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul every Sunday, including Palm Sunday, and will also stream liturgical celebrations for the Sacred Paschal Triduum from

Additional information regarding opportunities for prayer and devotions are available on the Archdiocesan website.


Editor’s Note: For comprehensive information about the pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit


Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)