03 Oct 2022

Covid-19 causes Laois parish near Carlow town to set up a seat booking system for Christmas Masses

laois carlow graiguecullen

St Clare's Church Graiguecullen

The Parish of Graiguecullen and Killeshin in Laois near Carlow town is setting up a booking system because of Covid-19 limits on the numbers how can attend Christmas ceremonies.

The large Parish is informing parishioners of how the system will work this week. 

"As we approach Christmas, we all realise we are living in an unprecedented time which leads to many challenges.  This year our biggest challenge as a parish team is to give everyone the opportunity to celebrate their Christmas Mass in a spiritual but safe environment.  We anticipate large numbers of people will wish to come to Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  As we can only accommodate small numbers at each Mass and to ensure the safety of everyone this year, we are introducing a ‘reserve a seat’ plan.  

"The reservation service will begin on Monday, December 14th from 10am to 1pm and will continue each morning until all seats are allocated.  Reservations can only be made by phoning 087 6216207 or 085 1450321 during these times.  You will be asked to give your name, a contact number and the number of people in your household who wish to attend.  We would encourage families who will be together for Christmas to reserve a seat together. 

"In St Clare’s there will be three sizes of seats containing less than four people, up to six people and up to eight people.  In Holy Cross there are two size seats up to three and up to eight people.  Each seat will have a designated colour so when you book you will need to let us know how many will be in your seat.  Tickets will be available for collection from Monday, December 21.  

"When you arrive for your chosen Mass please present your ticket to a steward and they will direct you to your pod within the church.  We ask people to remain in your seat during Mass and leave by the door you entered," says the Parish.  

Parishioners are also reminded that the 10am Mass on Christmas Eve will also be a Christmas Mass so if anyone who usually attends Mass daily this can be considered as your Christmas Mass. 

"We understand that some people are still nervous about coming to Mass so you can join us by viewing any of our Masses from St Clare’s on our webcam.  We will do our utmost to accommodate everyone but we ask you to please be patient as this is all new to us as well," said the note.

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