(WIVB) – Many Catholic churches across WNY reopened for the first time in months on Sunday.
St. Bernadette Church in Orchard Park had two different locations for worship to help manage crowds.
Amanda Numeracki attended a 8:30 a.m. Mass in the church’s gym. She said she was surprised to see a smaller group.
“It was smaller than I thought it was going to be, but everyone’s cautious so it makes sense,” Numeracki said.
Father Paul Seil said the church is being cautious by deep cleaning and placing blue and green markers for social distancing.
The church cleans between each service, in the sanctuary and the gym. In the sanctuary, they use UV lights to clean.
There are also some changes to the service- instead of exchanging a sign of peace with a handshake or a hug, parishioners wave or trade a peace sign.
The Buffalo Diocese has left it up to pastors to reopen or not- and Seil says that some parishes are waiting another week or two. He says it can be a challenge to meet both state and church guidelines. The church will continue to stream services online.