Dear Parishioners and Friends,
We have opened up daily Mass, Monday – Saturday at 8:00am, beginning this week.
I want to stress that I am discouraging people from coming in who are older, those who have a health impairment that would make them more susceptible to serious illness effects, and those who are currently feeling any form of illness, or if you are a caretaker for people in such situations.
We are all still released from the obligation for attending Sunday Mass.
However … this coming weekend, we are cautiously going to test having Saturday evening and Sunday morning Masses opened, in addition to the weekday Masses! For May 9th & 10th, public Masses will be said at our usual times: Saturday 5:00pm, Sunday 8:00am and 10:30am, and this will continue onward unless otherwise decided and posted. We will continue to get word out through email, website, and Facebook page. We may find that we have to change the weekend plans, depending on how the May 9th &10th Masses go.
Please continue to check for updates and communications. Please do your best to be flexible, in that we will have some changes to the normal practice of how we have Mass.
And for our particular church, here is what we are planning for the Saturday evening/Sunday morning Masses, in order to keep the 6 ft. distancing. Please read it over so that you will get the gist of it ahead of time.
- Alternate pews are marked not to sit in.
- Family units need to sit 6 feet from the next family unit. (A family unit is considered those who live together in a household. It may be 1 person, 2 persons, or a family with several children.)
- We ask that family units of 1 or 2 first “fill” the south sections of the church, opposite Choir section. This will help leave the long pews mostly for families of 3 or more, and we should be able to accommodate more people this way.
- Once the main church is filled to capacity according to the 6 ft. guidelines, ushers will give chairs to families as they come in. Keeping the 6 ft. rule, a few chairs can be in the upper bay area. When that is full, chairs can be placed in the Commons. Audio will be piped through speakers in the Commons.
- If the Commons gets full according to the 6 ft. rule, we will regrettably have to turn people away. HOWEVER, if those people will remain for a bit in their cars, shortly after Mass has started, a priest who is not saying Mass will go just outside the row of doors leading into the church building, then those in their cars can walk up to meet him up by the doors, to receive Holy Communion. If it’s raining or windy, he will open the outer door and stand on the inside, and people can still go up to receive. (He will distribute Communion at that time, and then be done, so if a person arrives later than that, the priest will not be waiting.) We are sorry that we can’t fit our normal numbers inside for Mass, but distributing Holy Communion is something that one of the priests who is not saying the Mass can do for those who can’t come into the building for Mass!
- Now, for back inside the church… when it’s time for Holy Communion in the Mass, we will explain how it will be distributed.
- Collection baskets will be set out, rather than handed down the pews.
- At the end of Mass, ushers will guide how we exit, in order to keep the 6 foot distancing. It will be somewhat similar to how it’s done at weddings or funerals.
- Bulletins can be picked up by the doors as you leave the building.
And again….. I want to stress that I am discouraging people from coming in who are older, those who have a health impairment that would make them more susceptible to serious illness effects, and those who are currently feeling any form of illness, or if you are a caretaker for people in such situations.
We ask God to continue blessing us as we live our lives with love for Him. May our decisions, our hopes, and our actions reflect His Will, here in the slow re-opening of Mass attendance, and in every aspect of our individual lives. I remain …
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Michael K. Houlihan
Pastor, Church of the Holy Spirit (Plattsmouth, Nebraska)