WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Churches are open for worship again after Governor Cuomo gave the green light to hold in-person services Saturday.
Pews are roped off, tape on the ground marks 6 feet, and everyone wears a mask.
On the Day of the Feast of the Holy Trinity, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watertown held public mass for the first time in almost 3 months.
“For weeks, I can’t tell you how many phone calls and emails I got from people asking me, pleasing with me, when can we go back to church?” said Father Christopher Looby, “Things are going to look a little bit different, we are going to be doing things a little bit differently, but this is so that people can come to church and feel safe here.”
Until told otherwise, 25% of the building’s seating capacity can be filled. For St. Patrick’s Church, that means 75 people inside at one time.
All parishioners 2 years and older must wear a face covering, and some seats will be kept empty to make space.
The collections baskets can’t be passed, there won’t be holy water in the fonts, communion is different, and the books were removed from the pews.
But that’s where technology can come in. If you have a smart phone you can download the holy bible or any other scripture and bring it with you to service. A paper copy is also encouraged.
And when it comes to this first Sunday back:
“Despite the changes and the adaptations that we had to make to how we do things, people are just grateful and excited to be back here again,” said Father Looby.
Because of seating limitations, it’s first come first serve. So Father Looby says if you want a spot in the pews, arrive early.