During the Advent Season we traditionally prepare for Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ. In the middle of a pandemic, our preparations are going to be much different.
So too with planning to celebrate Christmas in Church. At this point we are in an orange zone designation which means we are under some restrictions and limitations. In the orange zone our capacity is limited to 33%. This may sound like a lot but in reality it is not. To comply with social distancing regulations, our seating capacity is severely limited. Many pews are closed. Only members of the same household may sit together in the same pew. No standing is permitted. With the rise in COVID cases continuing, it is possible that by Christmas we will be in a red zone which limits us to only 25% capacity. It will be very challenging to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend Mass for Christmas.
We will not be able to accommodate the crowds that we have had in the past.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains in effect. Anyone who feels that their health will not allow them to attend Mass should not attend. We have added an extra Mass on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
On Christmas Eve Masses will be at 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. On Christmas Day Masses will be at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. There will be no midnight Mass. This change in schedule is for this year only and will be reevaluated for next year.
We have reworked our Mass schedule to spread people out. You may consider attending a different Mass than Christmas Eve or seeking out a larger church that may not have as many people attending. Masses are being live streamed from many locations. This may be an option. We hope to have ours up and running by the time this bulletin is published.
Everyone knows that everything about this year will be different. Please continue to be patient and understanding. Continue to wear a mask, social distance, and sanitize your hands.