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Health authorities eased up on sanitary restrictions for all places of worship in the country, during Holy Week, from March 28 to April 4.
- Archdiocese of San José photo -

Costa Rican Catholics celebrate Holy Week with in-person mass

Published Friday, March 26, 2021

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Archdiocese of San José announced the approval of the sanitary guidelines to celebrate Holy Week mass inside the churches, despite the country still facing the pandemic caused by the covid-19.

The Archdiocese of San José is the oldest Catholic organization in Costa Rica that is made up of 114 churches throughout the country.

Last year, the vast majority of the temples remained closed and the masses were broadcast virtually. But now, the health authorities eased up on sanitary restrictions for all places of worship in the country, during Holy Week, from March 28 to April 4.

The most important week for the Catholic community begins on Sunday, March 28, with the celebration of Palm Sunday, commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Before the pandemic, in almost all Costa Rican towns, the father of Catholic churches marched solemnly between parishioners and other participants in the main roads rounded the church following the ritual of Palm Sunday procession. That activity remains suspended due to the pandemic but more relaxed rules are authorized this year, such as:

• Churches can stay open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Regularly scheduled mass and other activities traditional of Holy Week can be held.

• People can attend in-person mass as long as they follow the well-known sanitary protocols such as: always wear a facemask, respect the 6-feet social distance guidelines and go to the church with their social bubble.

• 300 people maximum for attendees inside the church.

• A line should be made for the communion ritual, keeping the 6-feet of distance between people.

• Health authorities recommend that kids under 12 and adults over 65 continue to practice sanitary guidelines.

• Sick people must stay at home.

Concerning musicians and choirs within churches, they must have a space separate or different from where the audience is located. They must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from each other. In addition to a distance of 16 feet between them and the public.

"The bishops of Costa Rica reemphasize the need to follow the guidelines that allow this controlled reopening and that help us continue to take care of ourselves amid a pandemic that has not yet ended," Monsignor Daniel Blanco, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San José said. "Everybody must continue taking care of ourselves."

The Catholic Church had already issued guidelines to all its parishes in the country to follow health guidelines during the celebration of Holy Week.

Are there changes in the Holy Week celebration in your country? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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