Springfield Diocese to drop COVID-19 precautions on March 1


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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Following the lead of school districts and multiple cities and towns,
the Springfield Diocese will soon drop a number of their COVID-19 precautions.

Beginning March 1, masks will be optional in Catholic churches across western Massachusetts. The decision to drop a number of COVID precautions comes as COVID cases continue to decline.

Lectors, altar servers, and choirs will be back without restrictions. Meetings and social gatherings will start up again, and Holy Water fonts will be restored, depending on which parish you return to.

“We follow the health experts and we have our own consultants that we work with in house but at the same time but also we look at all the local health authorities and follow their lead,” said Springfield Diocese Bishop William Byrne.

The precautions will go away just in time for Ash Wednesday signaling a new chapter in the pandemic and the Catholic faith.

“It’s a visual sign of our getting back to our best as we should be doing spiritually,” Bishop Byrne told 22News.

Churches, both Catholic and Protestant felt the impacts of this pandemic, from precautions to attendance. However, Pastor Archbishop Timothy Paul of the Christian Cathedral said that brought along change, and in some ways, for the better.

“We learned how to have a virtual church,” he said. “A church that combined both people who were both in the pews and in the bed at the same time. This has been the new experience and it’s a new reality and I think churches are enthusiastic about now carrying on with both.”

Even though the Catholic Church will not require masks, make sure to check your local regulations.

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