By Paul Burton

STOUGHTON (CBS) — The singing is back. The fellowship is back. For the first time in more than a year, the faithful are now allowed to gather indoors without wearing masks or sitting six feet apart.

At Immaculate Conception in Stoughton, many folks hesitantly entered the church without their masks.

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“This is truly fabulous to be able to sit where I want and with who I want to sing. I just love it,” said parishioner Joan Kennedy.

Father Carlos Suarez has faith that the mask restrictions being lifted this weekend is a sign of positive things to come.

“Allowing our people, if they vaccinated to come in without masks, allowing those that are not yet fully vaccinated encouraging them to continue to wear masks and distance, in a way it allows us to worship more normally,” said Suarez.

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Immaculate Conception in Stoughton (WBZ-TV)

Signs reminding parishioners of coronavirus safety changes were posted throughout the church.

Attendance was up Sunday here. And even with the new mask policy many parishioners still wore them as a matter of comfort and safety.

“Certain people I am not vaccinated yet, I am going to keep my mask on. Others are vaccinated but out of my own self-comfort, I’m choosing to stay masked and that’s perfectly fine,” Suarez said.

And what they all missed most was worshiping together.

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“Part of being a Catholic is the community, is the joy of being with others that share your faith,” said parishioner Jim D’Amico.

Paul Burton