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Restrictions lifted some for Good Friday Catholic church services

The Archdiocese of San Antonio said parishes may open all pews and reduce social distancing from six to three feet, but masks must still be worn in church.

SAN ANTONIO — Heading into one of the biggest religious weekends of the year, the Archdiocese of San Antonio has updated some of its COVID-19 protocols for Good Friday. The biggest change: Parishes may open all pews, but masks must still be worn in church.

Jordan McMorrough, Director of Communications of the Archdiocese of San Antonio shared some of the changes.

“We must still remain vigilant, however, it seems prudent to begin to relax some of the restrictions which reduce the number of parishioners who can participate in the Mass and receive the Eucharist," McMorrough said. "Beginning Wednesday, March 31, parishes may open all pews and reduce the social distancing requirements in the sanctuary from 6 feet to 3 feet."

The annual Passion of Christ dramatization, which has been re-enacted by parishioners of San Fernando Cathedral on Good Friday for 30 years in downtown, was pre-recorded due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

McMorrough said two cathedral families who have participated in several of the dramatizations over many years took on the roles. Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, was also filmed carrying the Cross at the historic San Antonio Missions as well as the Alamo.

The Passion of Christ in the Year of the Pandemic will air on Catholic Television of San Antonio via television (Spectrum cable channel 15) and on social media at noon on Good Friday, April 2. It will also be rebroadcast at 6:30 p.m.

McMorrough pointed out that mask usage and thorough facility sanitation are still required. He emphasized, too, that masks must be worn in church.