SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — Catholic parishes in San Bernardino and Riverside counties are preparing to reopen for in-person masses this weekend for the first time in three months.
The Diocese of San Bernardino reports that it will begin in-person masses on Saturday. All churches will have to adhere to the state guidelines which limit the number of parishioners allowed inside to 25% of the building’s capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller. Once capacity is reached, arriving parishioners may be asked to attend a different service or view it online.
All parishioners will be required to wear masks at all times, except when receiving communion, and maintain physical distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Churches will also sanitize the sanctuaries between services. Parishioners must also use hand sanitizer before receiving communion, which will only be received in the hand.
“It’ll be a quieter mass, there’ll be one person providing the music only, not your big choirs any more, there’ll be no incense burning,” said John Andrews Thursday, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino Diocese.
Catholic churches have also been directed by state health officials to remove missalette and hymnal books, empty holy water fonts and cordon off “frequently touched objects” like statues.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles reopened its churches last weekend.