With places of worship now allowed to offer indoor services again, many churchgoers will be heading to mass in person for the first time in months.
Catholic churches in San Diego County are ready to welcome parishioners Wednesday after stopping indoor services due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some changes will be in effect during mass to keep churchgoers safe, such as halting the physical expression of the sign of peace and receiving communion only in the hand as opposed to in the mouth, as per tradition.
Bishop Robert McElroy reminded churches that they must abide by public health orders in mandating social distancing and facial coverings. All religious indoor services must be held at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Outdoor services are allowed to continue with proper social distancing.
“In talking with several pastors, it is clear to me that parishes will make different choices in San Diego County on whether to hold Mass inside, outside or both in the coming weeks,” McElroy said in a statement sent to churches and parishioners. “Pastors should make the choice that best fits their physical situation and community desires.”
The bishop also encouraged livestream masses to continue so that vulnerable communities could participate in exercising their spirituality.