My Holy Rosary Family,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
Recently we received word that the dispensation granted by Bishop Talley from the obligation to attend holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will end in October. As our bishop states: “Starting with the weekend liturgies of 10-11 October, I ask all Catholics to renew the spiritual obligation, to join in fellowship at their parish for holy Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.” This is a joy as it means all of us will once again receive together the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion. As we revel in our joy, we also want to state that the safety of our parishioners and visitors will continue to be a top priority for Holy Rosary. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we all need to be mindful of one another and to be prepared to follow the recommended guidelines (spacing, masks, liturgical practices, and number of parishioners allowed at a given time). The cooperation of parishioners and visitors will be encouraged and expected.
Before going through the process of entering, exiting, and celebrating Mass, I would like to address a few additional points:
- While, as of October 4th, the bishop will no longer be dispensing the faithful from the obligation of attending Holy Mass, it should be noted that much like at any other time, those who are sick or caring for those who are sick should stay home.
- The bishop also speaks to specific health conditions and situations that would make it impossible to meet your Sunday obligation in his decree found below.
- All Masses will be celebrated at the normal times.
- For parishioners with health conditions or that are vulnerable we will continue to live-stream our 4:30pm Masses on our YouTube channel. You can watch the Saturday 4:30pm Mass either on Saturday Evening or on Sunday: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ2NJGAljITJydcbqIeZg0g
- Paper worship aids will continue to be used. We ask that you please take the worship aid with you and not leave it at the church.
- For the time being, the Sacrament of Penance will continue to be “drive through” on Saturdays from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Due to time constraints and the ability to adequately clean after each penitent we will not be able to use the confessionals immediately before each Mass.
- Eucharistic Adoration will continue on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 1:00pm-5:00pm.
We will continue with Mass at 50% capacity. In order to accomplish this, we spread people out by restricting certain pews. We ask that those families who live under one roof sit together, and maintain a six-foot separation between households. Because of spatial constraints, we kindly ask that if you are attending Mass individually, or if you live in a smaller household, to please be aware of your surroundings. If we outgrow the church, depending on the number of extra people, parishioners will be directed either to the Family Room to watch a livestream or to the Parish Life Center for a simultaneous Mass. The nursery and the Children’s Liturgy of the Word will be continue to be closed for the time being.
As you enter the Church, please note that the bishop has asked all of us to wear masks during the celebration of the Mass. We ask that you please bring your own mask to wear. After entering, hand sanitizer will continue to be available at all the doors of the church. We ask that you sanitize your hands. (Please only use the recommended dime-sized amount.)
During Mass holding hands during the Our Father is discouraged. Also we will not be using the option to offer the sign of peace to one another. The priest will say, “The peace of the Lord be with you always“. The people will respond, “And with your spirit” and then we’ll move directly to the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).
During the distribution of Holy Communion, there will not be distribution of the precious blood from the chalice. Also, Bishop Talley is asking, with gentleness and sensitivity, that those receiving Holy Communion to please do so, for the time being, in the hand. While this is not mandated, he is asking this of the faithful out of an abundance of caution and concern for one another. Those who receive in the hand are strongly encouraged to have their hands flat to reduce the possibility of hand to hand contact. If anyone is wearing gloves they need to be removed prior to receiving Holy Communion. Those who receive on the tongue are asked to come to the priest or deacon for communion. As always, those who come forward to receive the Eucharist should be in a state of grace having gone to sacramental confession before approaching the altar of the Lord.
Following the Dismissal Rite, all conversations and greetings to others should happen outside so that all can depart safely and we can begin preparing for the next Mass. For those who would like to pray for a few minutes after Mass please do so. If you leave immediately following Mass, we ask that you please be mindful of spacing in the aisle as you exit. Please leave row by row, if someone is praying in the row ahead of you, do not wait for them to exit.
As the dispensation is lifted and we come back together, I ask for your charity and patience as we continue to seek the Lord together. There will most likely be bumps in the road and perhaps someone sitting in your favorite pew. But, let’s remember the words of our Savior, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
May our patroness, Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary continue to ask her Divine Son to bless us as we gather in worship.
Yours in the Christ,
Fr. Patrick Gallagher