If you have ventured from your home recently you are familiar with safe practices like social distancing, cleaning hands and surfaces and wearing masks. These are among the norms for those returning to church for Mass starting at the end of May. The Diocese of Cleveland has published Guidelines for Returning to Public Worship that mandates the following practices:
- Social distancing of at least six feet, except with family members who live with you, is required in the church and other indoor areas.
- Everyone must sanitize their hands before entering the worship space. Hand sanitizer will be available near the entrance to use before entering the worship space. We encourage you also to carry your own personal hand sanitizer and use it.
- The Diocesan Guidelines state: “The faithful are obliged to wear a mask or other face covering upon entering church and during the celebration of Mass, except for the brief moment of receiving Holy Communion.”
- Collection Baskets will be placed near the baptistery and Bulletin Table rather than passed around the church.
- For the time being there will be no sign of peace at Mass.
- There will be a single Communion line up the main aisle with marked 6 foot intervals on the floor to maintain social distancing. Communicants then return to their seats down the side aisles, maintaining a six foot interval. Please Note: For the health and safety of all, receiving Communion in the Hand is normative.
- When approaching the minister for Holy Communion, the mask should be pulled down over the mouth only to receive the Host and immediately pulled up again.
BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR DECISION….
- If you are ill or have a temperature, you are asked to stay home.
- If you have been exposed to someone who has the COVID-19 virus, you must self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
- If you have a problem with wearing a mask, you are asked to stay home.
- Those who fall into a high risk category (e.g., over 65, with a pre-existing condition such as respiratory or heart issues, diabetes, or a compromised immune system) should stay home.
- You are not required to come to church. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues. Sunday Mass will continue to be live-streamed for those who cannot come to church.
- To allow safe distancing, churches are limited to half their normal capacity. We will initially offer only two Masses: one at 4:30 pm on Saturday, and the other at 9:30 am on Sunday.