By now, hopefully all of you have been able to read Bishop Rhoades’ letter to the diocese outlining his plan for resuming the public celebration of Mass. Here are the highlights of how we will do this at Christ the King:
- Our first public Mass at Christ the King will be the 5pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, May 23rd. Beginning then, we’ll resume our usual Mass schedule:
- Sunday: 7am, 8:45am, 10:30am, 12:15pm
- Monday – Friday: 8:30am
- Saturday: 8am, 5pm (Vigil)
- This means that Monday May 25th will be our first weekday Mass.
- Bishop Rhoades has dispensed the Sunday obligation through August 15th. Anyone who is unable or reluctant to attend Mass is free to do so, and we’ll continue to make our Masses available on our YouTube channel.
- People 65 and older are strongly encouraged not to attend Mass, as are people with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Of course, anyone with symptoms should refrain from attending Mass.
- Strict social distancing will be enforced at all Masses.
- Overflow Masses will be held in the gym for the 5pm Vigil, 8:45am and 10:30am Masses. Once the allotted spaces are filled in the church, all people will be directed to the gym.
- All parishioners who are able to wear masks are expected to do so. This is not only for your own safety, but for the safety of everyone around you.
- Children’s Liturgy of the Word will not resume until the Governor declares that children are allowed to gather for school.
- We will resume the public safety measures we had in place before the closure:
- The Precious Blood will not be distributed.
- Only clergy will distribute Holy Communion. No EMHC’s, MC’s or altar servers will be used until further notice.
- All communicants are asked to receive Holy Communion on the hand, not the tongue.
- No physical contact should take place during the Sign of Peace.
I know you have more questions about this, but I just wanted to hit the highlights in this column so you didn’t drown in information! We are putting together a comprehensive list of guidelines for what you can expect, which will be distributed through our email list and website. If you don’t have access through those media, call Dee at the Parish Office, and she can send you a hard copy.
I am as excited as you are about resuming public Masses, but I also ask that all of us exercise the virtues of prudence and humility, especially if there are parts of these new restrictions that we don’t like. If you don’t like wearing a mask, we’ll still ask you to wear one. If you wanted to attend Mass in the church, we may ask you to go to the gym. You probably won’t get to sit in your favorite pew! Please recognize that patience and docility are required of all of this to get through this time without contributing to a resurgence in the virus. Practicing those virtues can’t help but make us more ready to receive Holy Communion!
I look forward to celebrating Mass with many of you next weekend, and for the rest of you, we’ll continue to be together in prayer.