As mentioned last week Governor Herbert has recently loosened the directives for public gatherings related to the Corona Virus epidemic. Bishop Solis has directed Utah parishes to implement some related changes as is most appropriate for their particular locations. Pertinent changes at St. Christopher’s are as follows:
No more than 20 people will be allowed in the Church for any individual Eucharistic celebration.
Social distancing must be maintained at all times – six feet between congregants. Use tape to close off rows of seating in the church and mark seats in order to guide the faithful to sit at least 6 feet from each other.
Churchgoers must wear masks and may remove them once they are seated.
Pastors must determine a reasonably equitable process to allow an appropriate number to attend Mass and to communicate clearly.
Attendance at any weekday Masses will satisfy a person’s Sunday obligations. The same restrictions as above apply to weekday Masses
Ushers will assist parishioners to their assigned seats. At the end of Mass congregants will be directed to leave in an orderly manner. (This could be fun and very nostalgic to all those who have attended Catholic schools).
Parents or older siblings will be allowed to be seated with one or two children who would need supervision.
As has been in place, no shaking of hands during sign of peace, no Precious Blood will be offered and Holy Communion will only be distributed in the hand.
To facilitate safe distancing, Eucharistic ministers will bring Communion to the people in their pews.
The pews and seats will need to be sanitized after every liturgy. We will have hand sanitizer near the entrances to the church and encourage those entering and exiting to perform hand hygiene.
Dispensation of the Sunday obligation will remain in effect for all those who are not able to attend Mass. Personal health and the safety community are of the utmost importance.
Cantors, lectors and ushers will be scheduled as is possible.
Collection baskets will not be passed, but will be situated where people can place their offerings before or after Mass.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO NOT CONGREGATE BEFORE OR AFTER ANY LITURGY. IT WILL ALSO BE IMPORTANT TO LEAVE PROMTLY SO AS TO MAKE ROOM FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE NEXT MASS AS NEEDED.
Anyone having a particular health risk that makes them vulnerable or anyone having symptoms of an illness should stay home.
There will be some further directives regulating use of restrooms. These will be made known at Mass.
THESE VARIOUS RESTRICTIONS AND DIRECTIVES WILL LIKELY BE CHANGING ON A SOMEWHAT FLUID BASIS. WE WILL TRY TO COMMUNICATE EVERYTHING AS CLEARLY AS POSSIBLE AND THINGS WILL GO VERY SMOOTHLY.
I will call each household to inform each person as to when they will be able to attend Mass on the weekend. Some adjustments can be made after the first week’s evaluation. I don’t anticipate numerous complications.
Our bible study on Unlocking the Mysteries of the Bible continues on Tuesdays at 2:30 PM and on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. Again, cost is $25 and materials will be made available as they arrive at the parish. We currently have 17 people signed up for the class so this will be a very good opportunity to learn, build community and share our wisdom with each other.
You may notice that there will be several improvements being made soon to the rectory involving painting the exterior and new flooring to include some needed sub-floor repairs. Please note that all these improvements will be paid for by donations provided from outside the parish and will not have been diverted from other parish operations. THANK YOU BENEFACTORS!
Please continue visiting each other as needed and be attentive to especially the needs of folks who are unable to leave their households. If anyone would like to visit with me, please do not hesitate to call the office and leave that message.
God bless you and know that we are always in God’s care.