Over the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that we’ve reconfigured our seating. Instead of every third pew being available, we’ve opened every other pew. Over the last few weeks, we’ve noticed a marked uptick in Mass attendance, even at Masses that previously were never close to being full. The Pastoral Team and Pastoral Council both engaged in discussions about the best way to manage this increased attendance, keeping people as safe as possible while maximizing the number of people who can celebrate Mass in the church. (The overwhelming feedback that we got suggested that people would much rather be in the church than watching a live stream in the basement.)
This new arrangement should allow us to accommodate more people in the church, while still keeping people 6 feet apart. The previous arrangement separated folks by far more than 6 feet, which we thought was the prudent way to go during the first few months of reopening. After carefully watching what other local parishes are doing, we felt this was a good time to make this change.
In the coming weeks, you should also notice some additional signage that will spell out how and where to sit in the available pews in order to accommodate the greatest number of people while maintaining six feet of distance between people. I know this is a little bit of micro-managing, but since we’re still knee-deep in this pandemic, I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Additionally, beginning this weekend we’ll offer an overflow Mass in the basement. Now that Fr. Gil has been ordained and we’re back up to two priests on Sundays, we’ll be able to offer a live Mass in the basement instead of just live streaming it. Right now we’ll offer this at the 8:45am and 10:30am Masses, but if it becomes necessary for other Mass times then we’ll expand it accordingly.
With all this being said, I’d like to put out a plea for more hospitality ministers! This will work best if we have people available in the vestibule to show people the available pews. So far Abigail and Teresa, plus a handful of committed volunteers have been carrying the load, but it would be helpful to have multiple people at each Mass to show people to their pews. If you’re interested in this ministry, please contact Teresa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back to all of you who have started coming back to Mass over these last few weeks! We’re glad you’re here. And as always, please don’t forget our many parishioners who aren’t quite ready to return. We miss you and look forward to the day when we’re all back together again at Christ the King.