All Catholic churches in Wharton County and throughout the Diocese of Victoria will stop holding masses through March 31. Attendance at weddings and funerals will be limited to 10.
“This decision was made after much prayer and discernment, recognizing that large gatherings are a factor in the spread of this disease,” Bishop Brendan J. Cahill announced Tuesday.
Priests are instructed to celebrate Mass without a congregation.
All Catholics in the diocese are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass or holy days of obligations through March 31.
The Mass from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory in Victoria is televised live at 9 a.m. Sundays at 9 a.m. on KAVU and live-streamed at www.olvcathedral.org.
The 8 a.m. Sunday Mass from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville is broadcast on 99.9 FM.
“Though not able to attend Mass, the faithful are encouraged to pray in their homes,” Cahill said.
Penance Services, Stations of the Cross and other parish events are canceled as well.
“Our parish churches and missions will remain open for private prayer and Adoration, as long as this does not pose a risk to the public,” Cahill said. “Protocols for social distancing are to be practiced.”
The diocese will determine April 1 whether to open Holy Week services will be opened to the public.