Friday, May 22, 2020
Planning @ Saint Patrick's on 30th Street
Last Saturday evening, I sent a letter by email asking your input in helping us plan. Please let us know if you did not receive it, so we can add you. I have received a number of replies with suggestions, and I have incorporated the replies here, into this updated plan:
Per Bishop Robert McElroy, the dispensation from the obligation of the faithful to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will continue indefinitely, given that the elderly are most at risk, and it is best for them to stay home, and continue watching Mass on TV or social media channels, such as YouTube. We will continue to livestream or record Masses on YouTube and the link will be posted on Facebook and on our website.
The space inside of the church has been measured and it has been determined that we can allow 65 people to enter the church and be spaced for social distancing at 6 feet apart for our Masses There could be more, since these measurements and calculations don’t take into consideration households.
We are strongly considering having 7:30 AM, and 9:30 AM Mass in the parking lot, and 11:30 AM Mass will be indoors in the church, designated as Seniors’ Mass, for 60 years old and older, and 5:30 PM Masses will also be indoors.
Face masks/coverings must be worn by everyone over 2 years old at all times. Entry will not be permitted without a face mask. If we have volunteers, we may take people’s temperatures to assess whether they have a fever or not. Signs/flyers will be posted outside and inside the church/worship space.
If someone develops a persistent cough at any time, they should leave on their own or may be asked to leave the space. Please know that you are permitted to use throat lozenge and still keep the fast to receive communion because such a product is medicinal. There may be a special location for people who have conditions such as allergies or dry throat so that their cough may not cause distress to others. We might need a parishioner physician to oversee these parishioners who are likely to be non-contagious.
The faithful will enter the church or worship space and be guided to (or find themselves) a suitable place to sit, adhering to standards of social distancing at 6 feet apart from any other person who is not a resident member of their own household. If in the church, this will mean every other pew. The holy water fonts will be empty.
There will be either just one cantor or recorded music, and congregation will be instructed not to sing. Envelopes for donations, will probably need to be placed after each Mass, or not placed at all. Volunteers needed.
We have cancelled our subscription to the Today’s Missal and Music Issue books used in the church pews due to prohibitive increasing cost and lack of properly being able to clean them after use. The copies we have will be given away for a free will donation for the personal use of parishioners. Anyone can order their own personal copy from Oregon Catholic Press (ocp.org or call 1-800-LITURGY).
The faithful must remain in their pew/place for the duration of the Mass/service/celebration. Instead of shaking hands or exchanging hugs at the Sign Of Peace, the celebrant will encourage the faithful to wave or nod to each other.
Regarding the consecration of the bread and wine into the Precious Body and Blood of Christ the Priest/Celebrant will have a patten and chalice for himself. A ciborium containing hosts to be consecrated for the congregation will be prepared prior to the Mass by a person who has thoroughly washed his/her hands, and placed on a corner of the altar, away from the celebrant presider, and remain covered until distribution. There are to be no Altar Servers.
The distribution of the Eucharist will take place at the end of the Mass, to minimize the movement of people. The celebrant will say to the congregation "the Body of Christ" and the parishioners will respond "amen" in unison before lining up for communion. There will be markings taped on the floor as a guide for social distance so that the communion line at the end of Mass maintains six feet of separation between communicants. The Eucharist is to be received only in the hand. There are no exceptions to this rule.
After receiving the Eucharist, it is to be immediately consumed. Only the Body of Christ will be distributed, and not the Precious Blood. The faithful must then exit the church to return to their homes.
A small table will be placed next to a Eucharistic Minister with hand sanitizer available there for sanitization should this accident occur.
Any lay ministers (Greeters/Ushers, Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Communion and Music Ministers) should be persons in good health, and if over the age of 60 years old, they should acknowledge being at higher risk should they wish to continue serving out of their own initiative and free will.
There will be a box for receiving the collection. The ushers who take the box to the safe, should wear disposable gloves, and wash their hands in the sacristy after depositing the collection in the safe. You are all encouraged to support us by online giving, in order to minimize the risk to ushers and counters: https://stpatrickschurchsd.weshareonline.org/
We must sanitize pews (or chairs if outdoors) and other surfaces people touch, such as doors and door handles after the Mass, or sometime before the next Mass begins. We are considering purchasing electrostatic sprayer(s), since it would be more efficacious in sanitizing and it would save us time. However, they are costly. Products and equipment are being researched. Any restricted donations toward the purchase of this equipment would be most appreciated.
There should be no social gatherings before or after Mass. Whether restrooms will be opened remains to be decided based on whether we can have volunteers to sanitize them, and based on how often we need to do it according to County guidelines.
We need volunteers for work groups or task forces: set up/ removal of chairs, communications, technology, signage, hygiene, medical/public health (temperature taking), and mask making.
Your pastor, Fr. Carlos Medina, OS