Archdiocese plans to resume Masses inside churches next weekend

Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes (PNC file photo)

The Archdiocese of Agana plans to resume Masses inside churches next weekend, Archbishop Michael Byrnes announced.

According to Byrnes, the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission has been busy updating protocols on the liturgy after holding very fruitful meetings with him and the clergy this week.

“I am pleased to inform our Catholic faithful that we plan to resume the celebration of Holy Mass inside our churches on the following weekend of Pentecost Sunday, May 30-31. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is quite fluid, opening of our churches would be contingent on no major outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the near future,” Byrnes said in a statement.

With utmost prudence, Byrnes said Masses would be celebrated with churches not exceeding 50 percent capacity and following strict distancing between Mass attendees. The faithful will also be required to wear masks.

In the meantime, for this weekend of May 23-24, priests will proceed as planned, celebrating Masses with the faithful attending in their cars in parish parking lots.

“I ask everyone’s support in giving our pastors and their staff adequate time to prepare their churches for resumption of indoor Masses the following Sunday. We shall update everyone in a few days,” Byrnes said.

He added: “We agree with President Trump that houses of worship and the activities of faith and worship that take place within the sacred walls are vital to numerous human beings. Our Archdiocese will continue to work with our government and health officials to keep our entire island safe from the COVID-19 virus that has changed our world. Most of all, we shall be guided by our loving God who is all-wise in his care and providence of his children.”