Phase 1

 

My Dear Friends in Christ,

Over the weekend of May 30th and 31st we will reopen the church for the public celebration of weekend Masses. Our first concern is for your safety and health. In order to comply with Bishop Noonan’s guidance for safe re-opening we have had to make changes to our procedures for seating, reception of communion and dismissal at the end of Mass. This may at times lead to discomfort and frustration, so patience and charity of all involved will be essential to handling these changes. Our church will allow us to seat 131 people for each Mass while maintaining proper social distancing. The following procedures will be followed:

• Ushers will greet arriving parishioners at the main entrance of the church. The side doors will not be used. Ushers will direct everyone to move down one of the two side aisles. The main aisle will not be used for arrivals. Families/couples will be permitted to sit next to each other without social distancing, but must remain socially distanced from non-family members. All parishioners will be directed where to sit by the ushers. We cannot accommodate personal requests for seat location or reserving of seats.
• Persons with physical disabilities who cannot sit in a pew, or cannot walk to the communion stations, will be seated in the area to the left of the altar. This entire area is reserved for the physically disabled.
• Once capacity is reached in the church, you will be asked to attend next mass. There can be no exceptions – if the ushers communicate that the church is full, you may not enter.
• The distribution of communion will be accomplished at the end of Mass. Communion will be distributed by each row of pews. The usher will direct the occupants of the pew to stand, proceed to the side aisle and then move to the priest/deacon distributing communion. All persons must exit the pew and move to the priest/deacon even if not receiving communion. You will not be allowed to remain in the pew while your pew is receiving communion. This is to prevent others from having to step over you as they make their way to communion and thereby violate the social distancing requirements. Persons not receiving communion will receive a blessing from the priest/deacon. After reception of communion/blessing parishioners will move to the center aisle and will exit the church by the rear or side doors. Ushers will be present to assist. Parishioners are asked to go directly to their cars upon exiting the building and will not be permitted to congregate in the Narthex or at the entrances to the church.

The general dispensation for the Sunday obligation remains in effect until further notice. If you do not feel you can abide by the procedures listed above, or the mandatory social distancing requirements, I ask you not to attend Mass. We will continue to record and provide Mass to you via social media by 9am on Sundays.

Likewise, if you experience coughing, fever, cold-like symptoms or the loss of the sensation of taste or smell, out of consideration for others, do NOT attend Mass.

Those who are vulnerable or have compromised immune systems should also remain at home.
The wearing of gloves and/or masks is optional, but strongly encouraged. Gloves will be removed and masks will be lowered for the reception of communion.

A few other variations you may notice:
• Holy Water and Baptismal fonts will remain empty
• You may only enter through the main church door
• At the Offertory, we will not pass the collection baskets, and the gifts will not be brought to the altar – stationary collection baskets will be placed at the entrances to the church for you to place your offering.
• There will be no sign of peace and no holding hands during the Our Father.
• Reception by the chalice is suspended until further notice.
• The weekly bulletin will be made available online only.
• Coffee and Donuts will remain suspended until further notice.