We are filled with great anticipation as we look toward the day when we can all physically worship together. However, when we return to public worship we will need to respect the restrictions and guidelines that the health professionals have provided in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Bishop Noonan has informed us that we are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday until further notice. Additionally, those who would prefer to attend our daily Mass at 8am in lieu of a weekend Mass, so as to avoid crowds, are welcome to do so.
Here are some initial guidelines regarding how we are going to proceed in re-opening our church.
Daily Mass will resume on May 18th at 8am. This will be the only Mass of the day (no 5:30pm Mass). Weekend Mass will resume on May 30/31. The following guidelines apply to both:
- Parishioners must register to attend the weekend Mass of their choice through Eventbrite, print a ticket and present their ticket at the door of the church in order to gain entry. Read more about the ticketing process. At this time, daily Masses do not require a ticket.
- If you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of sickness please do not attend Mass. Those who are vulnerable or have compromised immune systems should also remain at home.
- We will continue live-steaming daily Masses and Mass at 9:30am on Sunday for those who cannot attend.
- Weekend Mass times will need to be adjusted to allow for sanitizing. The 8am Sunday Mass will be moved to 7:30am. The weekend Mass times will be: Sat. 5pm - Sun. 7:30am, 9:30am, 12:15pm, and 6pm.
- Please wear face masks, and practice social distancing by staying 6ft from other parishioners.
- You should only enter the church through lower courtyard doors (entrance next to the chapel facing the family life center).
- Please do not arrive more than 30 minutes prior to Mass. Also, please arrive on time as the doors will be closed and locked once Mass begins.
- There will be a limit on the number of people allowed in the church at one time for Mass. Unfortunately, once that number is reached, we will have to secure the doors.
- Pews will be reserved to allow for social distancing. Please sit ONLY in the pews without a reserved sign.
- Hymnals have been removed from pews and all music will be projected.
- The nursery will remain closed and we will not be offering Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
- There will be no shaking hands during the sign of peace and no holding hands during the Our Father.
- During Communion:
- We will not be offering the chalice.
- Please allow 6ft of space from each other in the communion line.
- Communion will only be given in the hand, not on the tongue.
- For those wearing gloves, they will need to be removed in order to receive the Body of Christ in their hands as particles of the Host can adhere to the gloves.
- At the conclusion of Mass, parishioners will be asked to leave the premises in an orderly fashion. The church and bathrooms will then be sanitized before the next Mass.
We are excited about gathering together again and sharing in the Eucharist! These guidelines are part of the first phase of opening the church and might change due to possible changes in the health of the community, per Bishop Noonan.
These protocols have been carefully and thoughtfully provided to ensure that during this initial phase of our return to Church, we can safely do so as a community who respects one another and who joyously worships our God.
The Diocese of Orlando has provided a video on prayerfully returning to our parishes:
Text of the video can be found here: https://www.orlandodiocese.org/bishop-noonans-reopening-message