Amid debates about how and when to resume gatherings and reopen schools and businesses around the United States, many Catholics have been left wondering: What about Mass?
Public Masses around the country have been suspended or limited to small numbers in an ongoing effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But how will sacramental life resume?
In a few states where local governments are allowing for more businesses to open, churches are making accommodations. This week, Catholic News Agency reported, the Montana dioceses of Great Falls-Billings and Helena will resume public Masses on April 26 in the parishes that are able to abide by the requirements of public-health orders and social distancing. The bishop of Lubbock, Texas, advised his priests that churches could begin to prepare for the distribution of Communion through drive-up services.
However, Georgia’s bishops advised Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah that they were “not authorizing the return to congregating at churches or making our churches available for devotions. This determination extends through the month of May.” The announcement came the same week Georgia’s governor allowed gyms, hair salons, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to open their doors.
A sampling of Catholic bishops and their spokespersons told the Register that there is no set timetable on resuming Masses, and these decisions will likely look different in different dioceses and regions in the United States.
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