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Catholic Mass services resume with some changes

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ST.JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Wearing face masks and social distancing are just some of the changes worshippers can expect when heading back to church this weekend.

Nearly two dozen church-goers sat in the pews at Holy Cross Church in South Bend Saturday evening for the first in- person mass service in nearly two months.

Even with the extra safety measures, church-goers at Holy Cross Parish said it’s still good to be back.

“It’s about time. I’ve been missing this more than anything. I can’t understand, really, why it hasn’t been an essential, it was for me,” Carole Moags said.

“It’s wonderful to get back to Mass. It’s too bad they made getting back to church one of the last things they allowed us to do. Which, that’s the way it is. But, I thought we liked it,” Larry Brucker said.

Some aspects of attending mass may be a little different for worshipers. Father Jim Fenstermaker CSC, the Holy Cross Parish Pastor said there’s no sign of peace, no procession of the bread and wine, and no distribution of the blood of Christ through the traditional cup.

Members are still able to hear instrumental music playing during mass, however congregational and choral singing is not permitted.

“It seems my first time having a worship service without music, is very, very strange, to me at least,” Brucker said.

Even with the new procedures and guidelines in place, Father Fenstermaker said it was wonderful to see everyone who made it out to the mass service.

“I would hope that people would realize that even if they can’t come to Mass physically, that they join with us spiritually and that we are praying for them when we gather here. That they are in our prayers and they are spiritually with us as we celebrate the Eucharist,” Fenstermaker said.

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