Diocese of Madison to begin limited in-person masses next weekend

MADISON, Wis. — The Diocese of Madison says it will begin allowing in-person mass the weekend of Pentecost, May 30th and 31st, with capacity limits and other safeguards in place.

Catholic churches throughout the 11-county region in the Diocese will be limited to 25% capacity, with worshipers socially distancing themselves from eachother.

Catholic Churches in Diocese of Madison to reopen at 25% capacity Pentecost Weekend… https://bit.ly/2TrrfWY

Posted by Diocese of Madison on Friday, May 22, 2020

Among the other safeguards being put in place by the Diocese are a recommendation that all churchgoers wear masks, no choir or congregational singing, frequent sanitation of surfaces, removing hymnals and other items from pews, and continued streaming of Masses live online.

“Some may ask why we are adopting a gradual approach to reinstituting Masses with significant congregations present,” Bishop Donald Hying said in a statement. “The answer lies in the fact that COVID-19 cases continue to emerge in the state and there still is a very real danger of infection without adequate care; therefore, we want to be prudential in light of public health concerns.”

Bishop Hying said it would be “irresponsible” to come out of weeks of physical distancing without a gradual approach. He is also asking the elderly and those who are at-risk to continue staying home and not attend in-person mass at this time.