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Update on the Reopening of Churches

My Dear Parishioners!

As you most likely already know, this Wednesday all churches in our Archdiocese will be open and we will be able to celebrate Holy Mass. In the regard of this positive decision, the Archdiocese issued several guidelines that must be in place to ensure the safety of all participants in the Holy Liturgy.

I will briefly present some of them:

  • Until further notice, the faithful cannot sing during Holy Mass, therefore the songbooks were removed from the pews.
  • To provide the church with the required distance of 2 meters between liturgy participants, seats in the pews are marked with yellow tape to indicate where to sit. While entering the pew, take the place starting from the center seat and then we fill up rest of the spots in such order. This will allow us to get as many people as possible into the church.
  • During Holy Communion, everyone will come out of their pews in turn, including those who do not receive the Eucharist. While going up to receive communion and keeping a distance of 2 meters, we head toward the minister, stand in the designated place before the priest and after the words “Body of Christ” we answer “Amen”. Then, with stretched out hands we approach and receive Holy Communion. Until further notice, this will be the only form of acceptance of Holy Communion. Those who do not receive the Eucharist will still walk in procession, crossing their arms on their chests to receive a blessing.
  • To increase the number of people who may be in the church, the pew section on the left of the main isle will be reserved for families, as members of the same household are not required to maintain 2 meter social distancing.
  • We only use bathrooms when absolutely necessary.
  • We encourage you to use a personal disinfectant before entering the church.
  • The guidelines strongly emphasize and encourage any individual over 3 years of age attending Mass to wear a mask, and only partially remove the masks when receiving Holy Communion.
  • Offerings will be collected after Mass. There will be tables with the offertory baskets at the exit of the church.
  • The bulletins in paper form will not be printed. You can access them on the parish website.
  • After Mass, please do not gather for social purposes in the parking lot.
  • Please arrive at the church 15 minutes before the start of Mass to orderly take your seats in the pews.
  • If you feel sick, e.g. have a fever or cough, or any other symptoms potentially related to COVID, please stay at home.
  • We would like to continue to dedicate the Holy Mass at 11:00am to families with children as much as possible, therefore we ask that people without small children choose a different Mass to attend.
  • Please be advised that until further notice there will be no confessions on weekends. Confessions will be held every weekday, half an hour before morning Mass and one hour before the evening Mass.
  • The parish office will continue to be closed.

Dear parishioners, all these measures may appear to be a bit complicated but after our first Sunday following these new rules, it will hopefully not feel as overwhelming. I hope that very soon everything will return to normal and we will enjoy participating in the Eucharist without any restrictions.

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