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Return to Mass after Quarantine

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The SignUp Genius will be available Friday, May 22.
Transcript of Return to Mass Video - Published May 19, 2020
Hello Everyone,
Today I will share with you the parish plan for the return of the Holy Mass with an assembly.
Archbishop Vigneron sent notification to everyone in the archdiocese last Tuesday, May 12th.  He stated in his letter, “I write today to share some measure of hope during this difficult time of pandemic and social distancing.  In recent weeks, we have watched with relief as our State of Michigan gradually opened to select businesses and activities, with prudent precautions firmly in place to prevent a severe “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic.  
In keeping with the gradual reopening of our society, it is necessary that we make similar arrangements within our local Church to allow once again for the communal celebration of the Holy Mass, which at is core is the most “essential” activity known to our world.”  His message brings hope to us all as we look forward to the day that we communally receive the sacred body and blood of Jesus at the sacred liturgy.
I will like to preface that the Mass that you will be attending will look and feel different then the time before the pandemic.  So, we all need to work together during these times and follow directions regarding the Holy Mass.  The “new” guidelines have been assembled by the COVID-19 Liturgical Committee of the archdiocese.  These guidelines have taken into account expert advice from the medical community, liturgical experts, and public health leaders.  They are meant to assist pastors and the faithful in safely participating in the Holy Mass while maintaining the sound health precautions counseled by health and government officials.
I will now speak to our parish plan to reopen public Mass.  Before I begin with the details of the plan I would to share with all of you a reminder: 
  • Those older than 65 years of age (recommended age from the CDC), with a compromised health condition or caring for the sick in any way, should be encouraged to stay home. 
  • Anyone who is ill, has a temperature, cough, etc., should definitely stay home as an act of justice to the whole community.
  •  The dispensation form the Sunday Obligation to attend Mass is granted to all the faithful through Sunday, September 6, 2020.
The week that communal Masses begin in our parish you will need to Sign up ahead of time for a Mass via “Signup Genius” for an online seat reservation program.
  •  In this Phase I of resuming the public Mass each parish is allowed at each Mass 25% of capacity which for us is 225 persons per Mass.  When you go online to SIGN-UP GENIUS, you will need to determine which Mass you will be attending.  We are limiting the amount for each email address to four per sign up.  After you sign up you will receive a confirmation email.   There will be two staff members at each door to check you off the list before entering.
  • For those in our parish who do not have access to the online program, please call the parish office and someone on staff will sign you up for the Mass you desire to attend.
  •  This online service will be used to book attendance at each Mass.
  • Also upon your arrival and before entering into the building you will notice signage as a reminder to bring with you your mask and to keep physical distance of 6 feet from another person.  You cannot enter the Church without wearing a mask.
  •  Since there will be no passing of the collection basket, there will be a container on the table when you check in to drop off your offertory envelope.  Also there will be hand sanitizers at each entrance.
  • There will be in place a registration closure date and time.
    • For the weekday Masses it will be 12 Noon the prior day.
    • For weekend Masses it will be 12 Noon the Friday prior to the weekend.
    • Everyone MUST register so that we will have an accurate account for each Mass!
  • There will be three entrance ways open: The door by the Ten Commandments and the two entrances by the fountain in front of the church building.  The smaller door on the side will be not be open.
  • Since we are limited to 225 people, along with social distancing, every other pew will be closed.  
  • Families can sit together without the 6 foot separation.
  • For cleansing and disinfecting purposes the pews and church doors will be wiped down before each Mass and after each Mass along with the bathroom facilities.
  •  Also there will be no Holy Water in the individual holders as you enter.
  • In regard to the sacred music, the health experts stated that when one sings it has the potential to spread contagion aerosol with 6 to 10 times the effectiveness of speaking.  Therefore it is temporarily recommended that the congregation does not sing.  There will be a cantor at each Mass along with one of our directors of music. 
  •  At each Mass in the beginning there will be an explanation in regards to the reception of Holy Communion.  Distribution of the Precious Blood to the faithful is suspended at this time.
  • If you are in need of a low-gluten host, when you sign up to register at a Mass please note that you are in need of a low-gluten host.  The sacristan at each Mass will have the name of each person who will be in need of a low-gluten host to make sure there is the right amount. 
  • Holy Communion cannot be received wearing gloves.  Instead, proper and diligent hand hygiene should be observed. 
  • When approaching the minister you are to bow 6 feet from the minister, remove any masks and gloves as you approach the minister, the minister will say the Body of Christ and you respond by saying Amen.
  • You can receive on the hand or on the tongue.  For those receiving on the tongue we ask that you receive last in line.
  • Regarding liturgical ministers: the need for liturgical minister will be much less during this time.  There will be no altar servers.  There will be a need for a sacristan, one lector, cross bearer and cantor at each Mass.  You can sign up to serve for a Mass when you register on Sign Up Genius.
  • The first daily Mass at 7:30 AM will take place on Tuesday, May 26th the day after Memorial Day.  You will need to register ahead of time.
  • Those preparing for reception of the sacraments of initiation will take place on the eve of Pentecost at a special time.
  • First Communicants will be able to make their first Holy Communion at a 6:30 PM Mass on the four Saturdays of the month of June.
  • Confirmations have yet to be scheduled.
  • The first Sunday Masses will take place on the weekend of Pentecost: Saturday, May 30th at 4:30 PM and Sunday Masses for now have been scheduled in order to have enough time to clean the needed areas in between Masses.  The new Mass times on Sundays will be: 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM.  Keeping in mind that those 65 years of age, and those with a compromised health condition or cares for the sick in any way, should be encouraged to stay home, we have scheduled the before mentioned Mass times.  If there is a need for more Masses we will make the necessary accommodations.
  • We will continue to livestream masses until September 6.  You can find the Mass on our Parish Youtube channel.
As I mentioned earlier the experience of the Holy Mass will be different than it was before the pandemic.  That is why we all need to work together as we journey through these necessary changes for the present time.
The archbishop stated in his letter, “Through it all, we must remember that this virus does not discriminate between gatherings: a group gathered for sacred worship is not immune by the merits of its gathering.  It is only through our careful observance of these precautions that we make it possible to resume public Mass.”
Again, please know of my continued prayers for all of you and Fr. Graney, Fr. Peterman and I are grateful for your care and concern for us.  God Bless You!