Resumption of Public Masses
Today Governor Baker announced the reopening of parts of Massachusetts. Houses of worship are included in his first phase. Today, Bishop McManus decreed that public celebration of Mass may resume here in the Diocese of Worcester beginning this Saturday, May 23rd. To achieve that, we need to secure our worship space to provide for appropriate social distancing, those not of the same household must be six feet apart from others during our worship.
We need volunteers to help seat and direct people to the limited seating, to assist in the communion line and to direct them in exiting the church.
Those attending are required to wear a face covering or mask unless they have a medical condition to prevent them from doing so.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is lifted until December 31st so that those who are anxious or who have compromised immunity do not feel the need to attend. As a result, we will continue to live stream our Masses.
One of the requirements of the state is that the space must be sanitized between each service. To do that, we need help to wipe down the pews, doorknobs and bathroom. As a result, we need people to be patient and not arrive more than 15 minutes before the schedule time of Mass so that the space is appropriately cleaned for the next Mass. Otherwise, we will need to adjust our Mass schedule to allow sufficient time to fulfill this requirement.
All Masses (Sundays and weekdays) and worship are to take place in the upper church to allow for social distancing. The lower church will be open for private prayer during the week but no services will be held there.
Confessions will still take place outside as it is the safest option for both penitent and priest.
Lastly, and no less importantly, please remember to make your choice to attend Mass according to your own health and safety or that of your loved ones in the same house. The lifting of this stay at home order does now give us permission to make pastoral visits in people's homes. Let us know how we can help and be assured of our continued prayers.
Fr. Peter Joyce
on Monday, May 18 at 6:49PM