BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has issued a decree permitting the celebration of Christmas Vigil Masses beginning at 2 pm in parishes throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport on December 24, in order to provide more options to the faithful seeking to safely attend Mass on Christmas.
“With this provision, it is my desire and hope that each parish priest or rector ensure that enough Masses are celebrated in order to allow the reasonable accommodation of all the faithful who wish to personally attend a Holy Day Mass for Christmas,” said the bishop in the decree, which was issued on November 16 in response to the worsening coronavirus crisis.
In the decree the bishop references the ongoing pandemic and State health regulations restricting attendance at religious gatherings.
The decree states that “as we are nearing the celebration of the Holy Days of the Nativity of the Lord, the faithful are generally in need of more options to be offered by their pastors to attend the Christmas Holy Day celebrations.”
The earlier vigil time represents a one-time exemption for Christmas 2020 because of the extraordinary situation created by the pandemic, the larger number of people expected to attend Mass at Christmas, and the need to socially distance and follow other procedures to safeguard health.
Diocesan policy requires people to register in advance for Mass in order to help parishes plan and to facilitate the notification of other parishioners if someone tests positive. The faithful are also asked to wear a mask and practice safe distancing when they are in Church.