Here’s the Plan: May 15
As we return to public celebrations of Mass in the following weeks, please be advised and abide by the following:
- If you are sick or not feeling well—stay home. If you are not yet comfortable being in public—stay home.
- Clean your hands often. Cover coughs & sneezes. Avoid close contact over extended periods of time. Keep a personal hand sanitizer with you as needed.
- Family households may sit together, but social distancing should be maintained in Church between different households and individuals, in a reasonable manner.
- To limit the number of people handling the gifts and vessels, we will go without altar servers, Mary’s helpers, and Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
- There is to be no Offertory procession, but one of the ushers may bring the collection forward when they finish and place it near the altar rail towards the right.
- Only Father will distribute Holy Communion. Social distancing is to be maintained by the faithful as they receive Holy Communion, approaching in a SINGLE FILE LINE in the middle aisle.
- If choir members and musicians are able to maintain proper social distancing in the choir loft, Holy Communion will be administered to them immediately following the conclusion of Mass or the recessional hymn. They should approach the altar after Mass as soon as they are ready.
- Holy Communion WILL NOT be distributed in the hand to anyone wearing gloves. (Sidenote: gloves actually tend to be less sanitary, as we are usually able to wash/disinfect our hands more often than we wash or get a new pair of gloves.)
- The exchange of the Sign of Peace remains suspended.
- Church members are welcome to wear a face mask—but this is not mandatory and the decision to wear or not wear a mask should not be looked down upon—and any masks should be removed when about to receive Holy Communion.
- There should be no social gatherings on parish or Church property after liturgies until further notice.
- The Sunday Mass obligation for all Catholics of the Diocese remains dispensed by Bishop DeGrood until further notice. This measure is intended to affirm that individuals are relied upon to make the best decision for themselves about how much interaction with others is appropriate given their health and other considerations that are particular to them.
The above guidelines are subject to change. At this time, no member of the Church should feel pressured to return to public worship. I know many of our Church members who are going to wait a few weeks before deciding to return to Sunday Mass. The televised TV Mass with Bishop DeGrood will still be available on KELO every Sunday at 10am for you to participate from home. I say again—if you are not ready, or if you feel that the measures outlined above are inadequate—stay at home. If your main concern is the lack of distancing at the moment of Holy Communion, you do not have to receive or come forward at every Mass you attend.
By now everyone has learned a lot about practicing common sense and personal hygiene. Keep it up—stay safe—and trust in God!