We have received notice that as of May 20, we may begin celebrating public Masses, with restrictions that are intended to help keep everyone who attends safe and healthy. There will be reduced capacity, as the need for us to maintain at least six feet distance from one another will be continued.
On Monday, May 18, we will resume our traditional 12:05 pm Mass time for weekday liturgies. The Masses on Monday and Tuesday of that week will remain private Masses. On Wednesday, May 20, I will say Mass at 12:05, and those who wish to do so may attend that Mass and all future Masses. I will explain below the necessary regulations that must be followed.
On Sunday, May 24, we will return to the celebration of two Masses, at 9:30 am and 11:30 am. You are invited to attend and participate, but we must be faithful to the established protocols.
Some things that will be different at these Masses include:
- No entrance procession—ministers will enter the sanctuary from the sacristy.
- No offertory procession—bread and wine will already be in the sanctuary.
- No Sign of Peace
- No distribution of the cup—distribution of the hosts alone, and reception of the Eucharist must be in the hand.
- Only one lector is allowed at each Mass, and two Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist may assist the priest and the deacon.
All must keep six feet apart from other participants, but family members may sit closer to one another. We will rope off every other pew, and tape will be placed to indicate where people can sit. Everyone should wear a mask during the liturgy, although you will need to remove it or lift it in order to receive communion. The priest will not wear a mask during the saying of the liturgy but will wear it when he comes down to distribute communion. All who are distributing the Blessed Sacrament are to sanitize their hands before and after doing so.
Music books and response cards will be removed from the pews, as we cannot have multiple people handling these. Instead, we will use some kind of disposable worship aid (bulletin or program) to assist in your participation.
We will resume confessions on Tuesdays and Saturdays, at 11 am, but we will arrange some way for people to go to the sacrament while maintaining appropriate distance and confidentiality. The confessional is too close. Tuesday, May 26, and Saturday, May 30, will be the first days for public confessions.
We are in need of hand sanitizer and hand wipes. If you have some, please bring your own, and if you have enough (those who were into hoarding mode early on) and can donate some, please let us know. We may negotiate buying them if necessary.
As I have stated before, those who are in the high-risk category should not attend a public Mass. I cannot overstate the importance of this. By doing so, you not only place yourself at risk but also family and friends who would have to care for you if you become ill. If you have any kind of cold or flu or allergies, please do not come to the public Masses, for your own sake and for the sake of others.
— Fr. Mike Comer