The celebration of Christmas is a little over a month away. I am sure that many of you have begun thinking about how you will celebrate this feast in the midst of a pandemic. One of the more significant issues that we will have to face is the unknown. How many people will be coming to our Christmas Masses? Will there be large or small crowds? Each parish may experience things a little differently depending on location and demographics. I would like to offer you the following considerations as you make your preparations in churches that are only at 30 percent capacity with physical distancing.
- For parishes anticipating large crowds, it is recommended that you preregister people.
- If people are unable to attend Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day due to lack of space or concern regarding crowds, they should be reminded that the Church in her wisdom has established the Octave of Christmas. Individuals can celebrate Christmas and attend Mass on any of the eight days.
- Another opportunity is to attend early morning Christmas Masses where, in recent times, the numbers have not been large.
- It is important to note that the general dispensation for Sunday Masses also applies to Holy Days of Obligation (Christmas and Mary Mother of God).