Scranton Diocese approves earlier Christmas Eve Masses amidst pandemic concerns

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Parishes given option to add mass as early as 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – The Diocese of Scranton announced Friday that Bishop Bambera granted permission for parishes to hold Christmas Vigil Masses as early as 2:00 p.m. on December 24th.

According to diocese spokesperson Eric Deabill, this action would not replace the traditionally scheduled masses, which were held at 4:00 p.m., but would allow parishes to be able to properly staff and sanitize churches according to Diocesan guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Pastors in the Scranton Diocese 11-county area would make the decision whether to hold the additional mass to meet the needs of that individual parish.

“This Christmas will be like no other as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but it is important that we
remember the entire Advent season is a time of love, joy, and peace. Because of the coronavirus, many people in our communities have been isolated, lonely, and sickened. But Christmas is a time of hope. We are reminded that God gives us hope because he sent his son, Jesus, into our midst. We all need hope right now and Jesus Christ and his birth in Bethlehem gives us that hope,”
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said in a release.

Deabill also reminds parishioners that the Scranton Diocese will continue to to broadcast the daily mass from St. Peter’s Cathedral on CTV Catholic Television and across the Diocese of Scranton’s social media platforms.

A reminder to the faithful that COVID-19 health and safety protocols must continue to be followed when attending mass. This includes mask wearing and and social distancing of at least six feet.

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