SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Catholic Church is now holding services at full capacity. After more than a year of pandemic restrictions, the Diocese of Sacramento put out the call this Sunday for its parishioners to come back.

Father Brian Atienza’s message on this Sunday called on Catholics to come back.

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“The church is welcoming everybody back and hopefully they fulfill their obligations to come to our prayer and worship,” he said.

The pews are safe and sanitized now for 100 percent capacity. Although the church is still keeping some public health protocols in place by asking parishioners to wear masks, sanitize and avoid physical contact.

“One of the things we do encourage people is a simple gesture without physical touching, a simple bow of your head acknowledging people around you,” Father Atienza said. “For the sign of peace.”

Parishioner Arturo Arroyo has been eagerly awaiting this moment of togetherness again.

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“Praying together, the feeling, it’s so intense,” Arroyo said. “You can see the difference between doing it at home and being here present at your church.”

The Diocese of Sacramento includes churches across 20 Northern California counties. Catholics had been excused from attending services throughout the pandemic. Now that order has been rescinded.

Sunday services are open for all again.

“Take the opportunity to be together which is, I think, one of the things we longed for,” Father Atienza said.

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The Catholic Church also is now allowing church choirs to sing inside services again.