The time has finally arrived. You can return to public Mass. Alleluia! Alleluia!
However, there are certain parameters that we will guide you through as our two churches and worship center are reopened.
First, prepare yourselves for coming to church. Before you leave home be attentive to proper hygiene (wash your hands, brush your teeth and gargle, etc.), use the bathrooms at home (since the ones at church will be for emergency use only) and bring a mask.
Enter through the designated door since we need to keep a count. Look for an usher to greet you to be sure that people are properly spaced in the pews (social distancing).
People are asked not to socialize before or after Mass. When you arrive please remain in your seats. After Mass, please do not socialize by the church doors or in the parking lot.
Some changes to the Mass will be made. There are no hymnals in the pews, no holy water in the fonts, bulletins will be distributed only upon leaving, there will be no offertory procession, no sign of peace, no altar servers, an absolute minimal use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (as the Precious Blood will no longer be distributed), the cry-room will be unavailable, and Holy Communion will be distributed, for the time being, at the very end of Mass.
Please follow the directions given at each Mass for the distribution of Holy Communion. These will vary slightly by location.
Remember that we offer multiple opportunities to attend Mass each week. There are eight (8) regularly scheduled Masses each weekend at three (3) locations. Some Masses have traditionally had fewer numbers. You might think about attending one of them if you are leery about larger crowds.
If you are sick, please stay home. Think about the health and well-being of your fellow parishioners. A live-stream Mass on Facebook will still take place at 10 AM for those who are homebound. The dispensation for the faithful from the obligation to participate in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains in effect.
For the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (confession), please wear a mask and keep the proper social distance regulations (6 feet apart) when waiting in line.
The complete list of regulations is found on the Diocese of Camden Website. Please realize we might have to make some additional adaptations once we observe how many people initially return to Mass.
Welcome back! I have missed you!
Fr. Ed Namiotka