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As we resume celebrating Saturday and Sunday, please keep these essential points in mind.
- The obligation to come to mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation is on hold in our diocese due to the pandemic.
- Those at higher risk from COVID-19 (i.e. those over 65 years of age, those with sleep apnea,
anyone with diabetes or heart disease, those who are overweight, and/or with any additional underlying health conditions), Should stay home, for their safety.
- And, of course, anyone who is not feeling well or anyone with a fever or a cough of any sort should not come to the church to attend Mass, for a visit or for any other ceremonies or purposes out of consideration of their fellow parishioners..
Limiting the Size of the Congregation & Safety Precautions
- All those in the church are required to wear a mask except those exempted by New York State directives
- Congregations for all our liturgies must be limited to 70. This may necessitate our turning parishioners away when we reached the mandated attendance number. We have ordered an fm transmitter to allow those who cannot be seated to listen to the Mass in their cars.
Families and those who traveled to the church together sit together. All others must sit separately in the seats designated by the blue markings. To expedite seating, Ushers will oversee all seating. All are asked to sit where directed (it may well not be your regular seat).
- All entrances and exits should be through the Front Doors. The north and south steps are for emergency exit only.
- This physical distancing should be maintained everywhere on the church property (at the entrance, in the parking lot, etc.).
- In areas where the parishioners stand in line (for example, entering or exiting the church,
or to receive Holy Communion), tape has been placed on the floor to help proper spacing between persons.
- Rest Room are for emergency use only.
- All missalettes and hymnals have been removed from the pews. Readings and any hymn verses needed will be shown on the screen in the sanctuary. Bulletins will be available to be picked up only after mass.
- Holy Water fonts are to remain empty. The Holy Water dispenser (tank) is available (near the lobby elevator) for people to take Holy Water home with them.
- Collection baskets will be in the lobby so that faithful can simply drop their collection into the basket on their way into church. Collection baskets will not be passed around.
The Distribution of Holy Communion
In order to reflect both the Church’s great reverence for the Eucharist, while also providing appropriate precautions against infection, Bishop Barres has decided that Holy Communion in the Diocese of Rockville Centre will be distributed after Mass has ended.
- The Precious Blood willnot be available to the faithful.
- The priest (and, if present, the deacon) will consume the Eucharist in the normal way.
- After the concluding blessing, the priest (and any other ministers distributing Holy Communion) will use hand sanitizer and mask or cloth face covering.
- The priest will invite the people to kneel and, holding up a single host, he says: “Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” He then leads the people in saying: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.”
- The priest and other ministers (if present) proceed to the places prepared for distribution of Communion. A small table and kneeler will be placed at each communion station in the front of the church.
- All are asked to remain in their seats until directed by the ushers. Those who are receiving will be directed to the Communion Station. While those not receiving may exit. Those receiving should not remove their face covering until immediately before approaching the minister to receive Holy Communion, allowing their hands to be free. Holy Communion may not be distributed with gloves, nor mayit be received in the hand if a member of the faithful is wearing gloves. At the Communion Station, they should extend their hands (non-writing hand on top of dominant hand). The minister will say, “The Body of Christ” and place the host on the extended hand. Use the dominant hand to place the Eucharist in your mouth and immediately replace your mask. You are welcome to return to your seat for a short prayer.
- Anyone requiring reception on the tongue will need to stand behind the kneeler at the station until the minister has completed distributing the Eucharist. Ministers must sanitize their hands after each distribution of the Eucharist on the tongue.
At the conclusion of the distribution of Holy Communion, the priest and any other ministers return the hosts to the tabernacle.
The priest/deacon will give the final dismissal, “Our Mass is ended…”
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