Greensburg Diocese gearing up for popular holiday masses amid rising COVID-19 cases

GREENSBURG, Pa. — As Westmoreland County continues to shatter record highs for COVID-19 cases, churches are gearing up for popular holiday masses.

The Diocese of Greensburg is forced to get creative to celebrate Christ in the height of a pandemic.

“Nothing’s going to be changing, but I think all of us and in the church as well, we are going to be continuing to stress not only our personal interaction but our communication, how important it is to follow these guidelines,” said Diocesan administrator Msgr. Larry Kulick.

Masks have been and will be required for church goers. The diocese is hoping to combat capacity issues for the holidays by continuing to stream masses online.

And will be televising Christmas services on PCNC. And for the first time, an earlier mass will be offered before 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

“Having the mass as early as 2 p.m. in some communities, we’re hoping will be another way in helping people to stay connected and celebrate in a safe way, the beautiful celebration of the birth of Christ,” Kulick said.

Westmoreland County clocked a record high 259 COVID-19 cases and 7 more deaths in the last 24 hours.

Even as stricter state guidelines come down, the diocese said it feels comfortable and confident in continuing with weddings and other celebrations, with its safety measures in place.

“Especially to the protocols of social distancing and seating capacity that we have, and we consulted with healthcare professionals, mandatory wearing of masks...(but to) sanitization after masses. We feel confident in following those procedures we’ll keep people safe and healthy,” Kulick said.

We also reached out to the Pittsburgh diocese. They said they’re working on updating some guidelines and will release more information tomorrow.