Catholic churches in the Diocese of Colorado Springs will resume public Mass on Saturday, Bishop Michael Sheridan said Wednesday.
Attendance will be limited through a reservation system, with social distancing guidelines in place, he said.
Parishioners can sign up by going on their church’s website or calling the offices, said spokeswoman Veronica Ambuul.
Pastors have discretion on how the new protocols will work for their parishes, she said, including the use of facial coverings.
But in general, pews will be divided so families can sit together but apart from other churchgoers.
There will be no holy water, hymnals or communal wine available for parishioners, and Mass likely will not be as frequent as in the past, Ambuul said.
“The idea is, rather than the traditional weekend Masses, pastors will be encouraging people to attend throughout the week to spread it out,” she said.
Catholics continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, the bishop said, because churches cannot yet fill their sanctuaries with people.
The decision to reopen churches for public services was made after consulting with priests, lay people, secular advisors and public health officials “in a way that is safe for the faithful and the broader community,” Sheridan said.
Anyone who is ill or has an underlying medical condition is asked to stay home and tune into services online or on television.
The Archdiocese of Denver resumed public Mass last weekend, also with limited attendance and social distancing required.
Churches have been closed under Gov. Jared Polis’ executive orders that ban public gatherings of more than 10 people.
Despite those restrictions, churches in other states has continued to hold services without face masks or social distancing, resulting in several outbreaks of the disease.
Many churches have complied while continuing to livestream services online, and others have added outdoor services for people who stay in their cars. Some are allowing people in, under social distancing and other restrictions.
This content was originally published here.