Church reopens at 25% capacity and with new safety guidelines

Parishioners at the Annunciation Church in Yonkers are excited for the resumption of services.

News 12 Staff

Jun 9, 2020, 2:33 PM

Updated 1,449 days ago


Some churches, mosques and other places of worship in the Hudson Valley resumed services Tuesday.
However, things will be much different as the region goes into Phase 2 of reopening.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25% of their usual capacity.
The Annunciation Church in Yonkers says its capacity is between 450-500 people so over 100 people can be allowed in under the new guidelines.
Worshippers can also expect to other changes, such as:
  • All parishioners have to wear face masks
  • No holy water in fonts
  • No offertory processions
  • No passing collection baskets
  • Changes to distribution of Holy Communion
  • No worship aids including hymnals
  • No choirs in early stages of phase 2
"We are very excited to have the people back. A closed church does nothing for anyone in the community. And here in Crestwood, our church is the heart of the neighborhood, so we're happy to see all of our parishioners at Mass again," says Associate Pastor Kareen Smith, of Annunciation Church.
News 12 spoke to a couple of parishioners about returning to church after not being able to for such a long time.
"It was very, very special attending the Mass. Our father, he is a brilliant man who made a very special remembrance of why it's important to attend Mass," says David Smith. "With COVID-19, we all lost our freedom and going to Mass was one of them. And just being back feels like our freedom is back," says Donna Smith.
Pastor Smith says while they're resuming daily services at Annunciation Church, that they are not yet ready to resume Sunday Mass.

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