Father Joseph Romanoski expresses his gratitude for the kindness, patience, and understanding of those who have embraced the temporary cessation of public Masses with humility and trust. As the public celebration of Mass begins on Monday, May 11, while a cause for celebration, it is important to recognize at the same time that these first steps are not simply an open call to return to normalcy and the way we used to worship. The risk of the virus remains significant, and, as we return to Mass, we must continue to embrace the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all in our community. Hence, as we embark on this joyful and yet challenging new journey in the life of our Parish, there are a few points Father Joseph would like everyone to keep in mind.
PATIENCE AND CHARITY The ongoing risk of the virus requires adjustments to the way we are used to celebrating Mass. This may at times lead to discomfort and frustration. The patience and charity of all involved will be essential to handling these changes well. In the coming weeks, let us not lose sight of what a blessing it is to be able to celebrate Mass as a community.
DISPENSATION Please do not come to Mass if you should not be in groups or even if you are just concerned about the risk of infection for any reason whatsoever. The dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in effect. No one has an obligation to attend Mass because we are offering them publicly again, and therefore no sin is committed by anyone who does not attend Mass in person. Those who are at risk from the virus because of age or other infirmities are asked not to attend Mass until this crisis is over. Additionally, anyone who is worried that attending Mass would add undue stress or jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they live are also encouraged to remain at home, and continue the practice of watching the broadcast of Masses for spiritual nourishment - praying together and for each other.
BROADCAST Corpus Christi will continue to provide the service of broadcasting live the Sunday Masses and the Daily Masses, as well as other private liturgical celebrations and prayer services.
SCHEDULE OF MASSES We will return to the Parish’s regular schedule of Masses with the exception of Thursday: Tuesday at 6:30PM, Wednesday at 12:15PM, Thursday at 6:30PM, Friday at 8:30AM, Vigil Saturday at 5:00PM, Sunday at 8:00AM, 11:00AM and 5:00PM. Though Corpus Christi is publicly celebrating Mass on Monday, May 11, the Parish will return to not scheduling Mass on Mondays, starting on May 18.
OTHER PUBLIC PARISH ACTIVITIES There will be no other regularly scheduled parish activities until further notice, including liturgical celebrations, religious education, faith formation, ministry events and social gatherings.
NORMS AND GUIDELINES The norms and guidelines listed below are most effective when we work together and are all on the same page. Your attentiveness to these measures will help everyone in the community feel more comfortable and peaceful when returning to church.
CAPACITY Families must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than 25% of the capacity of the church building may assemble at any one Mass. At Corpus Christi, this means that a maximum of 150 parishioners can be accommodated at any one Mass.
MASKS Do not come to Mass without a mask. No person will be admitted without a mask. There can be no exceptions made.
ARRIVE EARLY Come to Mass thirty to forty-five minutes early. As you line up to enter the church, maintain a distance of six feet from other families at all times and without exceptions. Do not shake hands. Doors will be unlocked approximately 45 minutes before the commencement of Mass.
TEMPERATURE CHECK Everyone will be greeted by an usher at the door of the church building, and will get their temperature taken. The Parish will send a family home if any member of the family has a temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
ESCORTED BY USHERS An usher will escort and seat every family party, filling every other pew from the front to the back of the building. Everyone needs to stay in the seat you are assigned. No moving around will be allowed. Remember that physical distancing is for your protection and for the protection of others.
CRY ROOM The cry room will be closed at all times. The room will be inaccessible.
CHURCH DOORS The doors of the Church will be locked approximately 10 minutes prior to the commencement of Mass. During this time of pandemic, it would endanger others if any individual tries to come in after Mass begins.
RESTROOMS Because movement is problematic, please use the restroom only if absolutely necessary. If you get up, everyone in the pew will need to stand up and file out to accommodate you.
HANDS Do not hold hands during the Our Father or at any other time during Mass. The Parish will not be returning to this practice even when “normalcy” returns.
HOLY COMMUNION Everyone must stay in the pews until each family receives direction from the usher, who will direct each family to a communion line - either to the center aisle, right side aisle, or left side aisle. EVERYONE must walk up in the communion line. No person may remain seated in the pews. If an adult or child is not receiving communion, they still need to come forward with the family - adults with their arms crossed over their chest, and the children holding the hands of their parents at all times. There will be no blessing. The floors of all three aisles are marked with blue tape to ensure six feet of separation. On the way back to the pew, everyone must maintain spacing. IMPORTANT: If you decide to receive communion in the mouth, you must wait after the conclusion of the Mass to receive the Sacrament in the vestibule area. Details of how this will take place will be communicated soon.
OFFERTORY Baskets will be placed in the vestibule area for parishioners to drop in their weekly offertory envelopes. We thank you in advance for your generosity!
DISMISSAL Parishioners will be dismissed at the end of Mass, escorted by ushers pew by pew, starting in the back. Everyone must leave quickly and return to their respective vehicles. As much as we would like to, the upcoming public Masses are not to gather and catch-up with friends.
Father Joseph is very grateful for your continued prayers, support and cooperation. As God is with us in this time of trial, let us continue to pray for Father Joseph, our priests and our Diocese in this challenging time.
May the Lord God protect and richly bless you and your respective families!
Corpus Christi Catholic Church 2350 Augusta Hwy | Lexington SC 29072 Tel 803.359.4391 | Fax 803.359.8885 firstname.lastname@example.org