The day has come when we can open the doors of the church again to hold Mass, only now, instead of “standing room only” we can offer “sitting room” for less than 50 people. The idea that we have to require reservations to populate our Masses is one that goes against the grain, being antithetical to what we believe and practice. But, so is this pandemic antithetical to our cherished ideas about life, upending our usual sources of comfort and strength, of being with family and friends, and gathering as a community. But here we are.
If you are going to attend one of our Masses (please note: only at 10am and 12pm on Sundays for the time being), there are restrictions and protocols that need to be followed, in order to keep all of us safe, and to be in compliance with the CDC and diocesan regulations.
Please observe the following:
Call the office to reserve a spot. (The Monday (9 3) or Wednesday (912) preceding the Sunday you wish to attend.
Arrive 20 minutes early for Mass.
Face masks must be worn once you exit your car and until you return to your car after Mass.
Check in at the white tented area.
The only entrance is the parking lot entrance with the porch and deck.
Use hand sanitizer on the deck.
A volunteer will seat you.
Families living in the same household can sit together; otherwise, safe distancing must be practiced. There will be no bulletins available in church (it will be posted on the website.)
Refrain from singing; responses will be spoken. Refrain from kneeling.
Refrain from a physical exchange of peace.
At Communion, a single file will be maintained, using the white “dots” on the carpet as a safe distance measure between worshippers. Keep your mask on. Stop at the “dot” in front of the sanctuary. The priest will say “The Body of Christ,” you respond “Amen.” After the host is placed in your hand, step aside to the next “dot,” remove one side of the mask, consume the host, replace the mask and return to your seat by the side aisle.
There are no missalettes for safety reasons. Refrain from congregating before or after Mass. There will be no actual collection. Offerings can be placed in the marked receptacle as you enter the church.
All of the protocols are in place for our mutual protection. We are a people who value life; health and safety are paramount. If you are not feeling well, or if you have been exposed to the virus, if you are not comfortable around other people yet, or if you feel it is too soon to open the church, if you are of a certain age with or without underlying health concerns, please stay home and avail yourself of the many online options for Mass.
We will get through this, together, while mostly apart. God is with us.