Click here to download the accompanying letter by John Riehle as a PDF file: Public Mass return accompanying letter
Click here to download the guidelines as a PDF file: Public Mass return St. Matthew
Dear Saint Matthew parishioners:
I am sure you have been waiting as long as I have…for a return to “public Masses.” It’s exciting. And it will be good to gather again at “St. Matt’s.”
You know that we resume “regular” Mass on Saturday, July 18 at 4:15. In spite of the joy of gathering together there will be much that will be “non-community.” We are not used to wearing masks and sitting apart from those whom we have known for many years.
I agree with and have accepted the recommendations of parish leadership [members of the Pastoral council, Finance council and Liturgy committee]. The most important one is that there will be only one “public Mass” each weekend—at 4:15pm Saturday. There will be no public Mass on Sunday. At 10:15 each Sunday you will be able to participate “on line” by watching the Mass that was recorded the previous afternoon.
Please read the accompanying policies and procedures that we will follow at Saint Matt’s. Similar to parameters of other meetings, these practices are in place so that the possibility of passing on the COVID-19 virus is as low as possible.
Please think of all those other worshippers who will be coming and think about how we can help each and every one be safe. Parish leaders are especially keen on keeping Fr. Steve safe.
Again, “welcome back” to the worshipping community at St. Matt’s. Father Steve will be excited to see you and preside at the liturgies as he has for so many, many years.
Remember: we will stream Mass at 10:15 each Sunday. The recording will be done at 4:15 on the day before—Saturday. It will be edited and uploaded so it is ready for Sunday.
Please continue to watch the Mass if you choose to remain at home.
Policies and procedures for the return to Public Mass
These practices are recommended by the CDC and the Archdiocese. They have been reviewed by the Liturgy Committee for the safety and security of each person; but more so for the good health of the community as we come to celebrate Mass together.
- If you are suffering from COVID19 [or anyone in your household], we ask you not to attend. Please watch the Mass stream on Sunday at 10:15.
- We strongly encourage those over 65 and those who are especially vulnerable not to attend. Again, please watch at 10:15 on Sunday.
- A mask or face covering is required for anyone older than two.
- Please use the bathroom in your own home before you come.
- Please be conscious of physical distancing—6-foot minimum
- Please bring your own hand sanitizer
- We ask everyone to use the main doors.
- Please do not arrive earlier than 15 minutes prior to Mass. You will have to stay in your car if the doors are not yet open.
- We ask those attending to take seats beginning at the front.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND
- There will be no holy water in the fonts; there will be no hymnals nor missalettes; bulletins will be available only after Mass.
- There will be no congregational singing; there will be a keyboard and cantor.
- Collection baskets will be near the entrance; please use them as you enter or leave.
- All fabric chairs will have been removed, including the black ones with arms.
- Rows of chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart.
- In each row, leave 2 chairs empty between those of different households.
RECEPTION OF COMMUNION
- There will not be communion from the cup; communion will be distributed in the hand [not the mouth].
- It will be good if you use hand sanitizer before you come forward.
- Keep your mask on and keep a 6-foot distance as you come to receive.
- Please come forward in one line in the middle of the aisle.
- Please keep your hands open and flat so that the minister may put the host into your open hand without touching your hand.
- Step to the side; move your mask so you can put the host in your mouth; replace your mask and return to your seat.
- Please follow the directions of the ushers; dismissal will begin from the back rows.
- Take a bulletin if you wish; they will be available on a table, not handed out.
- Do not congregate in the back of church; go immediately outside.