The COVID pandemic has prompted the Roman Catholic Church to schedule additional Christmas Eve masses this year, and 3 pm Christmas Eve services will be allowed for the first time. Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight says the early Christmas Eve masses are the most popular ones of the year.
Columbia’s Our Lady of Lourdes parish, the largest one in the diocese, is offering two separate 3 pm and 5 pm masses on Christmas Eve. Masks and social distancing are required at all masses in Missouri, and the bishops in all four dioceses have given Catholics dispensation from mass obligations until further notice. That’s due to the pandemic.
Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight notes 3 pm Christmas Eve masses will be celebrated for the first time.
Bishop McKnight tells Missourinet that he’s asked every available priest to celebrate a 3 pm Christmas Eve mass because the early mass is so popular. In eastern Missouri’s St. Charles, only 140 people are allowed inside St. Peter Parish, because of the pandemic.
It’s the first time that’s ever happened, and Bishop Shawn McKnight says it’s about safety during the pandemic.
The Diocese of Jefferson City has 110 parishes in 38 counties. It includes Jefferson City, Columbia, Hannibal, Moberly, Marshall, and Sedalia.