Catholic Church

Philly Catholics Not Required to Attend Christmas Mass, Celebrations to Be Streamed

Amid coronavirus spreading through the region, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is allowing people to skip in-person Christmas Mass. The services will be livestreamed instead.

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What to Know

  • Catholics in the Philadelphia region are not being required to attend in-person Mass this Christmas season.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released guidance on Wednesday with new liturgical guidelines for the celebration of Advent and Christmas Mass.
  • Social-distancing measures and capacity limits remain in place for those who do go to church.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is looking to keep Catholics safe from the spreading coronavirus this Christmas season by not requiring in-person Mass.

On Wednesday, the archdiocese released new liturgical guidelines for the celebration of Advent and Christmas Mass. The guidance says Mass will continue to not be required due to coronavirus concerns.

“The faithful continue to be dispensed by the archbishop from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until further notice,” the archdiocese says in its guidance.

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The Church called for Mass, sacramental celebrations and devotions to continue to be livestreamed so the faithful can participate from home.

For those who want to still attend in-person Mass: Churches are being sanitized and social distancing measures are in place to meet local and state rules. Masks are suggested but not required. And, “priests, deacons and liturgical ministers are not expected to wear masks or gloves,” according to church guidance released in October.

Churches can hold up to 75% capacity, the guidance says.

A full schedule of Christmastime celebrations is listed on the archdiocese’s website.

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