I know that this has been a very challenging time for all of us. Each day brings new adventures as we work through the current situation. I would like to thank you for your patience, understanding, and tolerance, keeping in mind that we are all in the boat together, a community of believers, the People of the Resurrection. And, most important, remembering that Jesus, faithful to his promise, “I am with you always,” is in the boat with us.
Please know that each day as I am privileged to celebrate Holy Mass you are near to my heart as I pray that the powerhouse of graces that flow from the Eucharist fill your hearts with Easter peace.
Public Celebration of Mass Resumes May 30/31
The plan at the present time is to begin celebrating Mass publicly on the weekend of May 30/31. I would like to lay out for you the guidelines we need to follow and ask that you adhere to them in order to secure the safety of all.
- Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m. on a temporary basis. Mass on Sunday will be celebrated at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Please enter the church through the Center Street doors so that ushers can assist parishioners. The east and west side doors will remained locked. Also, at the present time there will be no public weekday Masses.
- We are allowed to have 25% of our seating capacity at each Mass. This means that we can have up to 175 individuals per weekend Mass.
- I am asking that some of those who normally attend the Sunday 10:30 Mass consider attending the 8:00 Mass. In order to accommodate the 175, we will need to use the balcony at each Mass.
- If you are sick, have a fever or flu-like symptoms, please stay home. The dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass is extended to July 5.
- Social distancing regulations will be followed, which means a 6 feet space between people sitting in the same few. The only exemption to this is people living in the same household. They are permitted to sit together in a pew.
- You are encouraged to wear a mask for protection.
- Some pews will be taped off and they are the ones that are not to be used. This is to allow for the social distancing requirement.
- Holy Water fonts will be empty.
- Hymnals will not be used. Parishioners will be provided with a sheet with the opening and closing songs. Sheets will be properly disposed of after each Mass.
- Baskets will be available at the church entrance for your weekly offering of treasure. No baskets will be passed through the church. You can also mail your Sunday offering to the Parish Office or put it in the drop box to the right of the main door of the Parish Office.
- There will be no procession of the gifts at the Presentation of Gifts. The bread and wine for the Mass will be kept on the credence table in the sanctuary.
- There will be no physical exchange of the Sign of Peace. A simple nod of the head to others is to be done.
- Holy Communion will be distributed by the priest only under the form of Bread only and must be received in the hand. The priest will be the only one to receive from the Chalice. Remember that the Church teaches that the whole and entire Christ: Body, Blood, soul and divinity are received under either form.
Taking Holy Communion to the homebound is prohibited at the present time.
- Ushers will guide people up for the reception of Holy Communion in order to adhere to social distancing rules. Communion will take a little longer to distribute, but reflect on how long eternity is!
- When the Song of Going Forth begins, ushers will begin to direct people out of church. Please do not gather to visit after Mass. This is for the safety of all.
- The worship space will be properly sanitized after each Mass.
Again, I thank you for your patience and understanding. It will be great for us to be together again around the Banquet Table of the Lamb. While things will be different for the present time, the important thing is that we can come together and celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Remember, we are in this together as a global community.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Yours in the Heart of Christ,
Fr. Dennis, May 7, 2020