6 May 2020
As I mentioned from the pulpit on Sunday, Bishop Guglielmone has granted pastors permission to begin offering public Masses on Monday 11 May. However, due to the impact of the pandemic the bishop has reaffirmed that you are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice.
In order to offer public Masses, we must continue to follow all of the current norms regarding social distancing and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, etc. At the present time given our space limitations in the lower chapel we may only have 35 people in attendance at Mass. Below you will find the parish Mass schedule effective 11 May 2020 and how you may receive Holy Communion when there are already 35 people in the chapel.
The Mass schedule effective Monday 11 May:
- 5:30 pm Vigil Mass (Saturday)
- 9 am Sunday Mass
- 11:15 am Sunday Mass
- Daily Mass 9 am Monday-Thursday
The three weekend Masses will begin on 16-17 May. The 9 am & 11:15 am Sunday Masses will continue to be streamed live through Pentecost Sunday. I have been offering a private Mass each day at 9 am which has worked very well with the work being done upstairs and allows the crew working on the plaster repair and repainting full access to building. We will keep the daily Mass at 9am Monday-Thursday until the Cathedral project is completed and then evaluate the schedule.
How to receive Holy Communion:
I know that so many of you are truly hungry and yearning to receive the Holy Eucharist! I am proposing the following; we can try it for a few weeks and see how it goes:
- Since we are limited to 35 people in the chapel, the distribution of Holy Communion will take place at the end of Mass.
- Those in the chapel will receive first and then anyone who was not able to enter the building may enter to receive the Holy Eucharist.
- You may consider watching Mass on your phone in the parking lot and then enter the building.
- If the weather is nice you may consider bringing a lawn chair or blanket and sitting on the Cathedral lawn watching Mass on your smart phone and then enter the building to receive the Holy Eucharist. Why not, right? … these are indeed unique and challenging times in which God has placed us!
- Or you may time your arrival at Cathedral to 45 minutes after the Mass start time and then enter to receive Holy Communion.
If you feel uncomfortable in attending Mass on Sunday when more people are present you may want to try to attend the 9 am daily Mass. Or time your arrival to when Mass is concluding and enter the building to receive the Eucharist. It is also being recommended that if you are over 65 or suffer from any kind of respiratory issue or are sick to remain at home.
- At all times people in the chapel must remain a distance of 6 feet when seated in the pews and lining up to receive Holy Communion (except for couples and families who may sit together in the pew).
- We will be sanitizing all doorknobs, railings and pew backs, restrooms after each Mass.
- The parish has removed all hymnals and missals from the pews. Worship programs will be available. We ask that you deposit your program in the hallway trashcan as you depart. They will not be reused.
- You may consider wearing a facemask.
- There will be arrows on the floor indicating directions on how to enter and depart.
- Please only use the restrooms if absolutely necessary.
- Scheduled Confession times are not permitted until 1 June. The parish Confession schedule will be posted the week prior.
A link to the Bishop’s guidelines regarding resuming public Masses in the Diocese of Charleston may be found here: https://files.constantcontact.com/4eac7125301/ef9afba6-e625-4f26-9ecb-370aa4b385a6.pdf
I know that we are all looking forward to the day when we will be able to gather at the Cathedral altar without restrictions. May that day arrive soon… very soon!