MASS NEWS & COVID UPDATE FROM FATHER MATT - OCTOBER 2020
It has been a joy to meet more of you every week as you come back to Mass in person or take advantage of our drive-thru prayer. I know there are many people I haven’t met yet in person but who are watching every week on the livestream and I look forward to the day when we can meet face to face. I pray for you all each day. Our parish has been able to stay focused on praying for one another and our mission because of how well we are following the necessary state and diocesan guidelines and because of the charity and patience we show to one another during these challenging times. I particularly want to thank our ushers who help welcome everyone to Mass and find everyone a seat, as well as those who are helping to sanitize the church after each of our weekend Masses.
As we enter into cold and flu season and with some instances of Covid in some schools and businesses in the surrounding towns, it is most important that we do not become complacent so that we can continue to safely provide the sacraments and come together as a community in the midst of this pandemic. Please wear a mask or face covering that completely covers your nose and mouth at all times when in the church and please maintain six feet of distance between yourself and members of other households while sitting in the pews. It is also critical that we do not come to church if we are suffering from symptoms consistent with Covid such as fever, respiratory symptoms that are not the result of seasonal allergies, changes to the sense of taste or smell, or other flu-like symptoms. We should also not come to church if we have been traveling outside of New England or been in close contact with someone who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last fourteen days. We will continue to livestream our 9:30am Sunday Mass on our parish website ( stmarynh.org ) for those who are unable to come to Mass in person.
We will be making one adjustment to our current procedures. Beginning this coming weekend, October 10 and 11, we will no longer be requiring advanced reservations for weekend Masses. The reservation system was very helpful in preparing us to open back up this summer, but is no longer necessary as we have been able to accommodate those who wish to come to Mass and not had to turn anyone away. Seats in the pews will be available on a first come, first served basis. Ushers can help you find a seat if needed. At current attendance levels we should be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to come to Mass in the church and we will continue to assess the situation as needed. The 4pm Saturday Mass is currently less attended than the 9:30am Mass on Sunday but both Masses still have a little room to grow.
Let us continue to pray for a quick end to the pandemic and a safe return of everyone to our church to worship the Lord as a whole community once again.
WE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER DURING THE PANDEMIC
"Loving God, Holy One, Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time. We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened. We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future. We pray: May love, not fear, go viral. Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good. Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence, You, the God who does not abandon, You, the Holy One, breathing within us, breathing among us, breathing around us in our beautiful yet wounded world."
- Sisters of IHM, Scranton, Pennsylvania