Albuquerque bishop urges congregation to continue wearing masks during worship

[anvplayer video=”5090932″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – This is the first weekend without the indoor mandate, and many churches are announcing their plans. One group of churches wants everyone to keep their masks on, at least for the next few weeks.

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande have more than 50 churches across the state, with multiple in the metro. Bishop Michael Hunn, made the announcement Saturday– asking his congregations to continue to wear their masks when they worship together.

“Remember when we come to church we don’t just sit together, we sing together, we share the common cup together, we go to coffee hour together, and to do all of that allows the virus to circulate in ways that it won’t when we are shopping or doing other sorts of things,” said Hunn.

But even with Gov, Michelle Lujan Grisham announcing the end to the indoor mask mandate – Hunn is not convinced now is the right time to take them off

“I hope it won’t surprise you to know that we at the diocese of the Rio Grande follow the teaching of Jesus, of loving our neighbor and the scientific public health guidance rather than the words of politicians that are running for office,” Hunn said.

And he is waiting to hear more from the state’s health department.

“I want people coming into our churches opening their hearts to the love of god and not worrying about their health care, and thus we can all wear our masks for another few weeks while we hear from the public health professionals about what is advisable for church settings like ours,” said Hunn.

This is a different approach than other churches in the area, on Friday the archdiocese of Santa Fe announced masks will now be optional in church and choirs can sing without masks.

But the archdiocese are strongly recommending masks for the elderly and those who may be more vulnerable.