Christmas mass changes at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

NOW: Christmas mass changes at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In the heart of Notre Dame lies the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a church that was built back in 1888 that is now experiencing a Christmas season unlike any other.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart has played a prominent role in Christmas celebrations for many in the community. The church typically sees around 1,200 visitors for each mass which are mostly filled with families at a first come first serve basis. But now this year, there was a reservation system where families had to sign up for the holiday masses weeks in advance. Overall, this year, the Basilica will now only hold approximately 300 people.

Regarding the mass itself, each party will be separated by 6 feet with one pew in between. There will be no large choir or singing. As for receiving communion, the process is a system in itself. Now, there is a strict traffic plan in place to keep families from interacting and hand sanitizer required beforehand.

Rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Father Brian Ching says, this year is especially important to offer Christmas celebrations to the community.

“That joy that is offered to us that this world isn’t the end of all things that there is hope beyond it. I think that resonates more this year because our sadness, our sorrow, our frustrations and tiredness is a little more acute this year. Hopefully the message Christ gives us on Christmas that there is a world beyond this one that there is a joy, a peace, a hope that transcends are feelings and resonates a little bit deeper than usual,” says Father Brian.

You can also livestream the Christmas Eve masses at the Basilica here.  

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