SAVANNAH — The Diocese of Savannah has announced that churches within the diocese will reopen at the discretion of their pastors on Monday for personal prayer and daily mass.

The first Sunday Mass to which the faithful may be readmitted will be Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

While the suspension of the public celebration of Holy Mass will be lifted, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday mass will remain in place at least through June 28, 2020.

The Diocese of Savannah is diverse, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has affected certain areas more than others. As such, the safety plans and practices to be implemented in the re-opening will be tailored to each parish.

Guidelines and best practices will be sent to all pastors to assist them as they develop their individual plans and determine office hours and staffing.

“Our return to our churches to pray and worship as communities of faith must be done prudently, judiciously, and gradually,” Diocesan Administrator Fr. Daniel F. Firmin said in a news release. “I ask everyone to please be aware of the risk to yourself and others should you choose to come to mass. If you are ill or in a higher risk category, please do not come to church.”

Parishioners who are uncomfortable about attending Sunday Mass due to the coronavirus or the safety measures implemented at their local parish are excused from their obligation to attend.

More information on the reopening is available at diosav.org.

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