The government is easing lockdown rules from 4th July. The guidelines from the Bishop’s Conference allow us to celebrate public Masses and other services from Sunday 5th July under strict conditions. Though the official social distancing rule is for one meter plus, we shall try our best to maintain the two-meter rule. Fr Mathew will be personally setting up for all masses with no other person touching the sacred vessels or the bread and wine. Readers are asked to read from their own missals or from the newsletter. Everybody should take the newsletter home as these will be for single use only. Hand sanitiser dispensers have been fitted either side of the inner entrance door. The Holy Water stoups will be empty.
We cannot have a sensible one-way system in church due to the way it is designed. Therefore, regarding communion, Fr Mathew will follow the second option for the distribution of Holy Communion given by the bishops. After the prayer "Behold the Lamb of God..." and its response "Lord, I am not worthy..." Fr Mathew will elevate the host to the congregation and say "The Body of Christ" to which the people respond "Amen". In a similar way Fr Mathew will then elevate the chalice and say "The Blood of Christ" to which the people again respond "Amen". Fr Mathew will then receive Holy Communion himself using his own host and chalice. After cleaning the sacred vessels, there will be a short period of reverent silence before the Prayer after Communion, blessing and dismissal. Those not receiving Holy Communion themselves should then leave the church, observing the 2 metre social distancing rule as they do so. Those who are to receive Holy Communion will then be invited to come forward to the altar by the central aisle, again maintaining 2 metre social distancing, receive the consecrated host from Fr Mathew in their hands with palms upwards one on top of the other and with arms at "full stretch" to maintain a good distance. Once they have received Holy Communion, each communicant should immediately leave the church by either side aisle observing the 2 meter social distancing as they depart.There will be no blessing for children or adults not receiving Holy Communion.
On Sunday, 5th July we will follow our usual Mass times of 8.00 am 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. Each Mass will be shorter than usual with a very short homily and no bidding prayers. There will be no offertory procession and no hymns will be sung at the 10:00 Mass. There is no upper limit for numbers as long as we keep the social distancing rules. Members from the same household can sit together. If congregation size demands, an additional Mass can be celebrated either on Saturday evening or Sunday at 11.00 am until the pandemic is over.
There will be no collection taken, but an offertory box will be at the back of the church where people can place their offering either as they come in or when they leave.
As you know, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is currently suspended and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future. This will help those parishioners who feel vulnerable, who may choose to come to Mass on a weekday when there are far fewer attendees than there are on Sundays.
The church will be open from 10:00 am until 12 noon each day for private prayer and you are welcome to telephone to make an appointment for any other time for private prayer and Fr Mathew will be happy to open the church for you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please use the contact form to submit your comment.