It's been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and changed out day-to-day lives possibly forever. We've gotten used to wearing face masks when we go into stores and restaurants, capacity limits in public spaces, and Zoom meetings for work. The one thing we haven't really gotten used to is no gatherings of friends and family.

During the holidays and pretty much every other day, you'll see cars in front of people's houses and full parking lots for bars and funerals. It seems as though we just can't stay away from each other. One of the events that some El Pasoans have had to forego during the coronavirus pandemic is funerals. People have not been able to bury their friends or family members with a Catholic funeral because the Diocese of El Paso has been following very strict guidelines for funerals and vigils for the dead, but that is changing.

Husband and Wife Funeral Farewell
Christian Vuong

Earlier this week, the Catholic Diocese announced that the restrictions that have been in place for almost a year will be lifted to allow some funeral masses and vigils to resume. El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz has said often in the past year that he wishes that the restrictions could be lifted and the Diocese only recently allowed the public to be able to attend Mass with capacity restrictions, social distancing, and face masks in churches.

According to the Diocese's website there will still be limitations placed on funerals:

"The protocols include a limit of 75 persons for the funeral mass and of 25 persons for the burial. Social distancing, a mask mandate and capacity limitations are already in place at funeral homes for all funeral vigils. Social distancing, mask mandates and other protocols will be in place at the church and cemetery."

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Being able to have a funeral Mass is an important thing for so many El Pasoans. It's good that the Diocese will allow them again even with the protocols in place.

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