Celebrating public Masses creates particular difficulties for priests and Parish Pastoral Councils, particularly in organising Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

That’s according to a statement issued by the Association of Catholic Priests, who say that churches differ in priest numbers, size of churches and the resources available to effectively oversee covid-19 protocols.

The association are concerned about numbers attending Mass this yuletide, considering that huge numbers of people traditionally gather in churches during Christmas.

They believe listed arrangements will be overwhelmed by numbers gathering both inside and outside, creating a dangerous prospect as envisaged by NPHET.

The ACP says that a range of possibilities need to be considered; some parishes are closing their churches on Christmas Eve and Day with Masses going online.

This could also be combined, they say, with the opportunity for families to receive Communion and visit the Crib on Christmas Day at specified times.

The ACP claims that the church is being placed under ‘unfair pressure’ to multiply Masses, organise a ticket allocation system and agree measures to sanitise churches and recruit volunteers.

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