In light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Macon County, I want to ensure that we are doing the best that we can in our parish to provide a safe environment for people who desire and are able to attend Sunday Mass, so I am amending and re-presenting our protocols for Sunday Mass attendance
below:

  • At this time, the sign-ups for Sunday Masses have been removed. We have found that our attendance has not yet approached 25% capacity, but should they do so, we will revisit a sign-up system.
  • Please enter through the main doors of the Church. As a precaution, all other doors will remain locked until further notice.
  • Distancing of six feet should be maintained at all times from others outside of your household.
  • Please practice safe distancing in the pews, even if this means not sitting in your normal places.
  • Consider moving to the middle if you are the first to arrive in your pew. This ensure others do not have to climb over you to find seating—and it’s hospitable to our guests!
  • During communion, there should still be six feet between you and the person in front of you.
  • Masks must be worn while entering and leaving the building, as well as anytime social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • If you are comfortable removing your mask once you are in your pew—provided you are six feet from anyone outside your household—you may do so.
  • Masks can be removed (per the CDC’s guidelines) because we are practicing safe distancing. If we do not distance ourselves, masks must continue to be worn.
  • Our music will continue to be led by a cantor.
  • Mass parts will now be recited in order to encourage participation by all in the pews.
  • We ask, for the time being, that the congregation refrain from singing. (Sing in your hearts!)
  • We will continue to suspend our collection and presentation of the gifts. A basket is placed at the entrance of the Church for your contributions. Thank you very much for your generosity during this time. The Church still relies entirely on your support, and while our contributions have taken a significant hit, many of you have continued to be very generous.
  • During the sign of peace, while we cannot make physical contact with one another, you are invited to extend the sign of peace in a non-physical way.
  • During communion, ushers will come to you to dismiss you from your pews.
  • If you desire to receive communion on the tongue, please make your way to the end of the communion line as a kindness to others.
  • While in line for communion, please maintain six feet of distance between you and the person in front of you.
  • As you exit, please refrain from congregating inside the Church; you are welcome to stay for prayer, but necessary conversations should be conducted outside and while practicing social distancing.

As a reminder, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still in place. If you feel unsafe in public places, have experienced any symptoms, or have a pre-existing condition, please remain home and continue to honor the Lord’s Day by praying for spiritual communion. Nevertheless, if you venture out for restaurants and casual shopping, I would only exhort you not to forget the necessity to worship God and honor Him properly. Jesus waits for us all in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood—may it please Him to gather us again (soon!) united as His family.

Keep spreading joy!

Fr. Friedel

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