Omicron Update NYC: Parishioners flock to St. Patrick's Cathedral for Christmas mass amid COVID

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Parishioners donned face masks as they filled the pews of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan Friday to celebrate another Christmas shrouded by the threat of COVID-19.

In addition to encouraging masking, the church said mass attendees would not be making the sign of peace, traditionally a handshake exchanged among those nearby.

Also, sacramental wine, which symbolizes the blood Jesus Christ shed, was not distributed during communion and fonts which normally hold communal holy water were empty.

"It was very special, especially since we didn't get to go to our own church service. It was a quick in and out," one parishioner said.

St. Patrick's, which is the seat of the Archbishop of New York, did not implement any capacity restrictions despite a recent dramatic rise in COVID cases across the state.

"We are cautious, kind of staying in our bubble. We all tested before we came out to make sure we are being safe," another parishioner said.

The Archdiocese also did not plan to make any changes to the Christmas mass schedule which included evening mass on Christmas Eve, midnight mass on Christmas, as well as masses throughout the day.

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