What Catholics should expect during church services this holiday season

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s new gathering limits will have some impact on Christmas Mass next month.

It’s usually standing room only for Christmas Mass but now with new limits on social gatherings, that number will be cut down. Governor Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 order issued on November 2 has once again reduced gathering size limits as COVID cases show no signs of slowing down.

Indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences to 25 people. With millions of Catholics who normally attend mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, many are rethinking their plans.

Although places of worship are open, it’s only 50 percent capacity. Diocese of Springfield Bishop-elect spoke to 22News about his plans.

“We also want people to make good decisions, to be able to stay social distant, and safe. To know that the masses will be live-streamed. My mass will be live-streamed and available. But we also want people to gather around the altar as safely as possible,” said Reverend William Byrne.

For those who are planning to go to in-person mass, Gov. Baker encourages you to social distance and wear a mask at all times. Places of worship are also encouraged to take steps to keep its parishioners safe and healthy.

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