Current Events & Updates During COVID-19

How wonderful it will be to be together again!

Dear Parishioners,

 

Public Masses Resume Tuesday, May 26th.

 

On the weekend of May 30-31 we celebrate the wonderful feast of Pentecost ~ the birthday of the Church! And what a birthday gift we have been given this year: we will be able to resume our regular schedule of weekend Masses! We hope you can join us!

 

The Archdiocesan leadership has provided parishes with very specific directives regarding this, and we want to share them with you. We are reminded that our first consideration must continue to be for the spiritual and physical health of our parishioners and those whom they encounter. It will be helpful to keep this in mind as we make the following, temporary adaptations to how we worship. The following comes directly from the Archdiocese:

  • First and foremost, the Obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be suspended as long as the pandemic continues. Live streaming Masses will continue to be available.

  • Persons over age 65 and those with preexisting health conditions should continue to stay home at this time, and avoid public gatherings, including in church.

  • All COVID-19 positive persons, those who are symptomatic, and those living with them, must stay home.

Furthermore, Archdiocesan leadership has provided parishes with very specific directions as to how we can celebrate Mass and still be safe, and we here at Divine Mercy are following these directives. Here are the temporary changes that we will all make to make this happen. Again, as we make these temporary adaptations to how we worship, it will be helpful to keep in mind that our first consideration must continue to be for the spiritual and physical health of our parishioners and those whom they encounter.

 

Things to be aware of before you come to Church:

 

  • We are following the directives provided us by the Archdiocese.

  • Understand that we are required to limit the number of attendees to stay below 30% capacity. We do not foresee this being a problem since we will provide our usual number of weekend Mass times. Ushers will be assisting by taking counts as people arrive.

  • Gatherings on church grounds before or after Mass are not allowed during this time.

  • The Family Room (Cry Room) will not be available for use, since it is difficult to keep children there within social distance.

  • Ushers and other ministers will be present to guide you and help with the transition.

  • Finally, review the list of changes that will be made to the liturgy itself (included below), so that you are not surprised or caught off guard when we worship a bit differently!

 

Things to do before you come, and what to bring with you:

 

  • Before you come, follow hygienic practices at home: wash hands, avoid touching the face, etc.

  • It is also recommended to use the restroom at home before coming to church.

  • Bring personal hand sanitizer along with you if you are able. There will be sanitizer available in the church.

  • Face masks are encouraged, but not required.

  • Finally, bring a sense of calm with you. We need to be gentle with one another. This is new for all of us: you, liturgical ministers, and priests.

At Mass:

  • Be joyful! We are back!

  • The doors will be propped open to avoid the need to touch the handle.

  • Wear your face mask into church.

  • Take your time entering...being mindful to stay 6 feet away from other groups or people.

  • After you enter the church, use hand sanitizer before you are seated.

  • Be aware of pews that are unavailable to sit in, and respect social distancing of 6 feet apart. Every other pew will be marked as unavailable. This may mean that you are not able to sit in your regular spot for a while. Ushers will assist you with this.

  • There will be no congregational singing during this time. Singing expels many more respiratory particles than speaking does.

  • There will be no Sign of Peace (or other touching)

  • Collection: The basket will not be passed during this time. Instead, ushers will move through the open pew in front of you carrying a basket, and you may place your contribution in the basket without touching it.

  • Communion: Communion will be distributed at the very end of Mass, after the final blessing.

  • Communion will be distributed in the same fashion as the collection was

  • taken up. You will stay in your pew, and the minister will move through the unoccupied pew in front of you, starting in the back of church and moving to the front.

  • You may remain kneeling or you may stand to receive the Eucharist.

  • No gloves may be worn when receiving Communion, nor paper tissues, cups, plates or other disposable items.

  • The minister holds up the host and says, “The Body of Christ.” You reply “Amen,” and then remove your face mask to receive.

  • After you receive, replace your face mask.

  • At this time you may leave or you may spend a few minutes in your pew in gratitude for the Eucharist. If you choose to stay for a bit, please be mindful of keeping 6 feet apart from others when you choose to leave.

  • Also be aware that the pews must be thoroughly cleaned between Masses, and this takes time.

As you leave:

  • Remember not to stop for visiting, as we are prohibited from gathering in any fashion. Yes, this will be a challenge for our community! Show your love and care for one another with a big wave, broad smile, and a “see you soon!”

  • Bulletins or Handouts are available for you to pick up on your own on the way out.

Lots of information, we know! But we will be there to help you, and you will be reminded throughout Mass of these various things. A bit of change, and change can be hard, but remember: This is temporary and making these changes allows us to be together again! Amen!

 

We SO look forward to seeing you!

 

Fr. Cory Rohlfing,

Pastor

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