With some new changes, Philadelphia Archdiocese plans to resume Mass this weekend

Mark Abrams
June 04, 2020 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Churches in the five counties of the Philadelphia Archdiocese plan to resume public celebrations of Mass this weekend as the region enters Gov. Wolf‘s "yellow" phase under the COVID-19 reopening plan.

Father Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocese office for divine worship, says Mass for the Sunday celebration will begin on Saturday evening with the vigil Mass in most parishes.

He says sanitation, social distancing and limits on the number of people who can enter the church will be part of the new normal for now.

“While our parishes will do what they need to do to sanitize the church, people also should be mindful of washing their hands before they come to church and even bringing their own hand sanitizer,” he said. 

To maintain social distancing, parishioners will be asked to spread out, sitting in every third pew. He says families who live under the same roof can sit together.

However, Gill says once a church reaches up to 50% of its capacity, no one else will be allowed to enter.

Face masks must be worn by those attending, and the reception of Holy Communion is the only time the mask can be briefly removed.

Gill stresses that not all are expected to attend Mass during this phase of reopening.

“Those who are elderly or are in any way compromised with their health should stay home,” he said.