Let’s talk about Christmas Masses.
It is fascinating seeing the shift in attendance at Christmas Masses over the last thirty-seven years since I was ordained. EVERY- ONE goes on Christmas Eve. NOBODY (an overstatement) goes on Christmas morning. Normally, the late afternoon Mass – the 5p.m. – is the packed Mass. Our Midnight Mass (Atlantic Time- 10 p.m. Central) is fairly well attended.
Obviously with the pandemic, things may need to change a bit. As I mentioned at my Masses last week, some parishes are going to a “sign-up or ticket” plan. I believe that that would be a disaster. I would rather count on the common sense and good will of the great folks of Holy Redeemer to adjust this year. In other words, I am sure there will be room for your family at Christmas morning Masses. Here is the plan:
We will have four Masses on Christmas Eve: the two regular morning Masses, our 5 p.m. (Livestream) and Midnight (10 p.m.) (Livestream) Masses.
We will have two Masses on Christmas Day, 8 and 10 a.m.
We will abide by St. Louis County recommendations, which means we can have 25% capacity –roughly between 200 and 250. We will social distance, using every other pew. Families can sit together. Masks must be worn. If it looks as though a Mass is getting too crowded, our ushers will politely ask people to go home and participate online. The 5 p.m. and Midnight (10 p.m.) Masses will both be live streamed. If any- one wants to receive communion, they can come out to the parking lot and receive in their cars, Fr. Jim and I would be happy to do so.
I really do not anticipate any real problems. When we opened back up in May, the parish- es around us were worried about overcrowd- ing and made all sorts of accommodations to handle the situation. There were no problems.
All I ask is two things. Use your common sense and be polite in the spirit of the Season. We are truly all in this together and we will get through it as long as we do those two things.
And if I do not see you physically at Christmas: Stay healthy and Merry Christmas