In addition to encouraging masking, the church said mass attendees would not make the peace sign, traditionally a handshake exchanged between people nearby.
In addition, the sacramental wine, which symbolizes the blood shed by Jesus Christ, was not distributed during communion and the baptismal font that normally contains communal holy water was empty.
“It was very special, especially since we couldn’t go to our own church service. It was a quick round trip,” said a parishioner.
St. Patrick’s, which is the seat of the Archbishop of New York, has not implemented any capacity restrictions despite a recent dramatic increase in COVID cases statewide.
“We are careful, we kind of stay in our bubble. We all tested before going out to make sure we are safe,” said another parishioner.
The archdiocese also has no plans to change the schedule for Christmas masses, which included evening mass on Christmas Eve, midnight mass on Christmas, as well as masses throughout the day.
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