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Diocese of Palm Beach cancels public mass

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Posted at 5:51 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 11:53:59-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The coronavirus may change the way your worship. The Diocese of Palm Beach announced Wednesday that public mass is canceled indefinitely.

In a letter and video posted on its website, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito said the coronavirus has caused a "serious health emergency, a fear-filled panic and a continuing isolation that must be dealt with carefully and prudently."

The Diocese of Palm Beach covers Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties. Its churches will not be available for public mass or private prayer.

Play Bishop Barbarito's Statement

The announcement said priests will continue to celebrate mass on a daily and weekly basis but without public participation.

The decision falls in line with other dioceses across the state and most across the country.

They will be rescheduling confirmations, but worshipers can contact their parishes if they need assistance from a priest.

"There are situations regarding the celebration of funerals, the celebrations of weddings, the celebrations of baptisms, which can be arranged if they cannot be postponed with a priest in a parish, provided that the distancing requirements, as well as the limitation of family members, is all exceeded to for the safety of all," Barbarito said.

The diocese website and Facebook page will also be live streaming several daily and Sunday masses and they have posted links to daily readings and podcasts.

The move takes effect Friday and will remain in place until further notice.