2020.5.4 – Daily Mass Precautions
Dear St. Francis Parish Family,
It is with great joy that we resume the celebration of Mass in our parish. On Wednesday April 6th we will resume our 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily Mass and continue to offer confessions at 4:45 p.m. in the small chapel. This announcement concerns the celebration of daily Mass starting this Wednesday.
However, our joy and our enthusiasm must be met with extreme caution. The COVID-19 virus remains a threat to our society and to our parish. And we, as a parish family, must remain concerned for the public safety of persons vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. For this reason, we are emphasizing strongly several points of caution. And in addition, we are mandating several points of restrictions for those who wish to attend public daily Mass.
The several points of awareness are as follows:
• No parishioner is obliged to attend Sunday Mass.
• Because of the COVID-19 virus attendance at Daily Mass, while a privilege, is not encouraged.
• Spiritual Communion, when physical communion is not accessible, participates in the graces of communion and should not be viewed negatively.
• Persons vulnerable to this virus are requested to stay home and to not expose themselves.
• If you are aged, infirmed, or in frail health you should not attend.
• Persons showing symptoms, or having been exposed to symptoms, of this virus MUST stay home.
In view of the six-foot social distancing requirements the following spacing restrictions apply:
• Only 175 persons will be allowed in the Church.
• Church doors to the main entrance will open at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• Only the Church doors to the main entrance will be open.
• Ushers will count persons at the door of the Church.
• If, for a daily Mass, more than 175 persons desire to attend Mass, a second Mass will be offered immediately following the 8:00 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. Mass to accommodate the overflow.
• Blue tape has been placed on pews that mark six feet of distance between persons.
• Persons of the same household can be near one another.
• Persons not of the same household must maintain a six-foot distance from other persons.
In order to protect others from the spread of the virus from oneself, the following health restrictions apply:
• In accord with medical and government authorities, masks or face-coverings, such as a bandanna, that cover the nose and mouth, are required for all persons over the age of two.
• Such masks or face-coverings are required to be allowed into the Church.
• Ushers will be at the door of the Church to check for face coverings.
• Please bring your own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to wash your hands and pews before and after use.
For the protection of parishioners during communion, the following restrictions will apply:
• Additional hosts to be consecrated during Mass will be set to the side of the altar, at six-foot distance from the priest.
• The priest will use a mask in distributing Holy Communion to the faithful.
• Communion lines will be single file and maintain a six-foot distance between persons.
• The communion rail, with six-foot distancing between persons, will be used.
• Please receive communion on the hand.
If, in any way, these requirements are too burdensome, or you personally disagree with them and do not wish to abide by them, then we ask that you not attend daily Mass. Attendance at Mass is not required, and spiritual communion is still a participation in the grace of communion. COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our society and our parish and we must protect one another from its spread.
If you do choose to come to daily Mass, we ask that you abide by these guidelines. In short:
• The Church will open on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• Only the main doors of the Church will be open.
• All persons must maintain a six-foot distance from persons not of their own household.
• Entry into the Church requires masks or face coverings that cover the nose and the mouth for all persons over the age of two.
• Bring your own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to clean the pew before and after use.
This announcement concerns the celebration of daily Mass. By the end of this week I will share with you a final plan for the celebration of Sunday Masses on May 9th and May 10th. May God grace our parish as we resume the celebration of Public Mass.