IC Church

Karen Mansfield/Observer-Reporter

Immaculate Conception Church, Washington

Parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese will be allowed to increase attendance at Masses to 50% maximum capacity at each Mass, effective this weekend.

All health and safety protocols, including mask-wearing, social distancing of at least six feet, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures must still be followed. As with previous directives, it will be up to individual pastors to determine their own safe reopening plans based on their particular spaces, resources, and staffing.

“People need Jesus now more than ever. We have been longing to be able to welcome more people home to celebrate Holy Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist,” Bishop David Zubik said. “After a challenging six months learning how to adjust to safe gathering and worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, our clergy and our parishioners are better equipped to be able to support larger groups for in-person worship.”

In addition, priests are encouraged to make arrangements to distribute Communion within the Mass (as opposed to the end of Mass, if that has been the custom in the parish(es). The COVID restrictions of not offering the Blood of Christ and of not sharing the sign of peace remain unchanged.

The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect. The diocese and many of its parishes are still live-streaming Masses. A list of resources is available at https://diopitt.org/moving-forwardtogether.

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