The following text is the text from Fr. Bill’s weekly column in the bulletin. It contains information for those wishing to attend public Masses at the parish:
This weekend (May 30-31) we are opening up the doors of the church but only for the 4:30pm and 9am Masses. Hopefully, if all goes well, we will be able to bring the 11am Mass back quickly.
There are a few things everyone should know before making the decision of whether or not they should come back to church.
As I stated last week after Mass, no one should come to Mass if they are high risk. If you are sick, over the age of 65 or compromised in any way, please stay home and do not plan on coming back to church just yet. As I have said before, God would much rather have you home and safe versus coming out to church and getting sick or getting even sicker.
The church has been marked out for the sociably acceptable distance for people to sit. Although the church is big when figuring out the proper distancing of each person, it leaves us with only 162 seats.
Please know it will be first come first serve this weekend. The ushers will seat you and you will not have a choice of where you will sit. At this time
everyone will be placed six feet apart no matter if you live in the same household or not. The only exception to this guideline is any parent caring for a child who is seven years or younger. The child may sit next to his/her parent.
Everyone will be required to wear a mask. You are encouraged to bring your own but we will have disposable ones available.
On entering and exiting the church there will be hand sanitizer for everyone to use.
Once in the church everyone will be seated and must remain seated. There is to be no socializing, walking around or talking once you are seated.
The candles will not be available for anyone to light. If you would like a candle lit please put an envelope in the collection basket with how many candles you would like and a staff member will light it for you.
There will be no formal collection. There will be baskets in the back to drop your envelope into when entering or leaving.
Please know that there will be no singing before, during or after the Mass. We have been instructed that we are only permitted to play instrumental music. It has been realized that the projection of germs can carry up to fourteen feet when singing.
For Communion we will bring the Eucharist to those who wish to receive it. When the priest or Eucharistic Minister come to your row, you will stand up if you would like to receive or remain sitting if you will not be receiving. This way we will be able to keep the sociably acceptable distance and in turn keep everyone safe. Please note that we will not be giving the Eucharist on the tongue. For safety reasons this guideline only makes sense.
When exiting the Church, the usher will excuse you row by row. Please be patient, everyone will get out but it needs to be in an orderly manner. The ushers, who will be wearing gloves, will hand out bulletins at the end of Mass. There will be no bulletins available before Mass.
Please know that the dispensation for missing Mass has been extended. Again, if you do not feel you are ready to come back to church or do not want to adhere to these guidelines, please just stay home. I understand the hesitation about coming back and I am sure that God will understand as well.
These are some very stressful times and I just ask everyone to please be patient with the staff and myself. We are trying the best we can with what we have been told to do. God bless everyone and please stay safe.
Peace and Goodness,