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Parishioners at Sunday's Mass in Cuernavaca. Parishioners at Sunday's Mass in Cuernavaca.

Drive-in Mass: Catholics go to church for first time in 4 months

Cuernavaca diocese adopts drive-in theater celebration of Mass

The Catholic Church celebrated its first in-person Mass in four months in Morelos on Sunday by using a novel approach — inviting parishioners to a listen from their cars as if attending a drive-in theater.

Thirty-three cars showed up Sunday to attend the Cuernavaca diocese’s service, where Bishop Ramón Castro has been giving his homilies via the internet since Covid-19 closed churches and other public spaces throughout Mexico.

Congregants were able to park their cars, spaced a safe distance apart, facing a small stage set up so that Castro could conduct Mass in front of a projection screen, the type used at large-scale concerts. The faithful watched from their cars.

The church, said Roberto Carrasco, a vicar with diocese, decided to celebrate the drive-in Mass in recognition of the difficult times worshippers are going through without the comfort of in-person services and receiving the Eucharist, a core tenet of Catholics’ faith. 

“Seeing other places that have set up these sorts of stages to watch movies, we thought, ‘Why not a celebration with the presence of the bishop?”

Instead of offering the Eucharist to attendees directly on the tongue, congregants received the wafer in their hands. All participants wore masks, and some used gloves and face shields as well.

Artemio Bello, who assisted during the ceremony, told Milenio that this method of hearing the word of God was new, but necessary in Mexico’s “new normal.”

Attendees like the Reyes family said the church should continue to conduct such services.

“It’s an example of how we are going to have to live in this situation.”

The event occurred despite six priests in Morelos having contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic and the state currently having an orange rating, the second highest rating on the federal government’s “stoplight” system. According to the state secretary of health, Morelos has recorded 3,741 confirmed cases and 792 deaths.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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