On the second Sunday after Pentecost, we always celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. This year this feast takes on a new poignancy since many of our brothers and sisters haven’t been able to join us in receiving the Eucharist. Many are being cautious about returning to any kind of public gathering. Others are heeding the State’s advice that people over 65 and others in high-risk groups should limit their exposure. Either way, many people have expressed to me just how painful it has been to be separated from the Eucharist.
After listening to a lot of folks and having much discussion as a Pastoral Team, this Sunday we are going to begin making the Eucharist available to these folks outside of Mass on Sundays. We invite anyone who is unable to join us in person for Mass, but who has watched Mass on TV instead, to come to the church between 1:30pm and 2:00pm, where they will have the opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
We’ve waited until this weekend to make this available for a few reasons. Of course, it is providential that this is happening on Corpus Christi, and it also coincides with the beginning of Stage 4 of the Governor’s Back on Track Indiana, plan; while this still advises that seniors and others in high-risk groups exercise caution, it eases some of the restrictions and guidelines that had previously been in place. (I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with these recommendations at https://www.backontrack.in.gov/2348.htm.)
We’ve also consulted different medical and public health officials before making this decision, and based on these discussions, we know that caution is still necessary. Those who take advantage of this opportunity will still be asked to practice social distancing, wear masks, and follow the protocol that we’ve been using in church for the reception of Communion (i.e. keeping your mask on over your nose and mouth, receiving in the hand, and then stepping 6 feet to the side to lower your mask as you consume the Blessed Sacrament.).
We hope that this measure is helpful to some of you who haven’t been able to receive the Body of Christ for these last 3 months. We also realize that others will still choose to stay home for the time being, until you feel more comfortable venturing out. Know that all of you – in church, after Mass, at home – are still a part of the Body of Christ and still a part of Christ the King Parish. We look forward to the day when we’ll all be able to celebrate together again