Cardinal urges Catholics to celebrate Christmas safely

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley is encouraging Boston Archdiocese Catholics who want to attend Christmas Mass to register in advance or watch it on TV due to the coronavirus pandemic.
O’Malley said people should go to their local parish website or call ahead to register for in-person attendance.
“By following Archdiocesan safety policies, our parishes are able to welcome a reduced number of parishioners and visitors at Masses this week,” O’Malley told reporters on Tuesday. “Despite all of the challenges, we will celebrate Christmas in smaller groups, with some attending Mass in person and others watching the Mass live-streamed from their parish or on Catholic television.”
For in-person Masses, the archdiocese will follow state requirements about capacity levels, said M.C. Sullivan, chief healthcare ethicist and a member of the Archdiocesan Pandemic Response team.
“Our message is clear: We want people to be able to safely share in the celebration of the Mass, welcoming the Christ Child,” Sullivan said. “For in-person Masses, we will adhere to the state requirements regarding capacity levels. In fact, we operate well below the 40% threshold currently authorized. We know that we can be together by safely practicing well designed and established protocols that respect the common good.”
In addition to registering in advance for in-person Mass, people will be required to wear masks and social distance. People should also dress warmly because church windows may be open to provide good ventilation.
Mass schedules may be different than what people are accustomed to, she said, so they should check their parish’s website or give the parish a call.
Most parishes are offering Masses both in-person and live-streaming. But some parishes are not offering in-person Masses, so people should check locally. People who are not feeling well should not come to Mass, she said.
If people attend Mass in-person, there will be no singing of Christmas carols.
Below is the Christmas Mass TV schedule:
Christmas Eve:
·   8 p.m.: Midnight Mass from St. Peter’s with Pope Francis (CatholicTV)
·   11 p.m.: Christmas Mass from Bethlehem (CatholicTV)
·   12 a.m.: Midnight Mass, Cardinal Sean at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston (CatholicTV)
Christmas Day:
·   8 a.m.: Christmas Mass with the cardinal (WLVI-TV)
·   9:30 a.m.: Christmas Mass with the cardinal (CatholicTV)
·   12 p.m.: Christmas Mass with the cardinal (WHDH-TV on Channel 7)
·   5 p.m.: Christmas Mass from the National Shrine (CatholicTV)
·   5:30 p.m.: La Santa Misa (Spanish Christmas Mass on CatholicTV)
See the full schedule of Christmas programming at CatholicTV.com/schedule, or watch Christmas Mass at WatchtheMass.com

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