LIFTING OF PUBILIC HEALTH RESTRICTIONS & DIRECTIVES FOR SACRAMENTS IN COVID-19
Thanks be to God and to the gracious intercession of our Heavenly Patron, Paul, Saint of the Inner City, we have come to an end of all Public Health Orders in place due to the Covid19 pandemic.
What thankfulness to God I have for the witness of all who persevered in faith and charity during these times of challenge. The virus still continues to be among us, so as with all pathogens, we should be solicitous of others and careful of the gift of health. Let there be no divisions among us as we walk carefully into the reality of community life.
We should note that Bishop Mark has instructed that,
“The general dispensation to the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass continues to remain in effect. However, those who are not elderly or health compromised are strongly encouraged to make the Sunday and holy days of obligation.”
We shall continue to livestream the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass with distribution of Holy Communion until 11:30 for those still not ready to return to communal worship in the Co-Cathedral.
These are some of the practices entailed by those that the Bishop has outlined in the “re-opening”.
- Our Parish will no longer have a restriction on capacity or be obliged to have parishioners sign up or register and contact tracing is not required.
- Masks are not required, including for those cantors, singers and soloists. Those assisting with the liturgy and the faithful may choose to wear a mask at their discretion.
- Confessions will return to the Confessional at the back of the Co-Cathedral.
- There will be a bowl in the Holy water font.
- Hand sanitizer and/or alternate sanitizing options will be available throughout the church.
- We will continue appropriate cleaning of high use areas within the Co-Cathedral.
- All hymnals and missalettes will be returned to the pews. Join our choir in song!
- Families are not required to maintain distance between their family and other families or individuals throughout the celebration of Mass.
- The collection and the procession at the Preparation of the Gifts will resume. We will continue to have the Collection boxes in place.
- The Sign of Peace will continue to be done with a simple gesture, such as a reverent bow to avoid physical contact.
- Mass will be celebrated with the participation of altar servers.
- The priest will continue to wear a mask and must sanitize his hands immediately before and after distributing Communion.
- Communion will be under one Species. For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with me.
- We shall form two lines in the center aisle for Communion, returning to our practice of beginning with the front pews of both sides.
- Altar Servers, Lectors, Welcomers, and Coordinators begin again their ministry. As of yet, there will be no need for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. Please step forward to serve the Lord’s community in this way.
Praise God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as we move from COVID to Covenant.