NEW Mass Protocols starting Pentecost
Dearest Epiphany parishioners,
Let us give thanks to Almighty God as our area of the world emerges from the recovery phase of the pandemic. The Archdiocese has today updated the COVID-19 protocols for our worship of the Lord during Mass. Attached please find the letter of Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, informing the faithful of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston that the churches will open to a 100% capacity beginning this coming Saturday, May 22nd, at the Vigil Mass of Pentecost.
We as a church have been exercising an abundance of safety precautions for the past year in order to ensure that our liturgical gatherings and ministry activities are not a source of spreading the virus to one another when we come to church. You and our community have been so conscientious in being charitable to and understanding of one another's adjustment needs during the real challenges of this pandemic. This time we entrusted to the Lord has been a spiritual investment in the unity of our community.
Let us in faith begin the transition of opening back up the liturgy of the Church! Beginning at the Vigil Mass of Pentecost on May 22nd, social distancing will no longer be required. In addition, wearing a mask while in the church is not required, though encouraged. Please note that the general dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass
remains in effect
for the time being. The Vigil Mass on Saturday will still be livestreamed and will continue to be available for those who desire to join us in spiritual communion at Mass.
There will still be a number of safety protocols in effect as we transition back to some of our liturgical norms at this time. Here are highlights of these ongoing safety protocols:
The clergy and the EMHCs will be wearing their mask while distributing Communion at Mass;
The temporary suspension of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is removed. Those administering Holy Communion will take care to properly sanitize their fingers in the event that contact is made with saliva;
The use of holy water fonts continues to be suspended. We have a holy water dispenser located outside of the sacristy if you would like to bring a bottle to fill, and the clergy members are always happy to bless a bottle of water if you present it after Mass;
The weekly offertory collection will still be in the collection boxes at all of the church entrances at this time; and
For now, the hymns and Mass readings will still be published in the bulletin as a worship aid during Mass.
As the local pandemic situation continues to improve month by month, let us remain vigilant and open to returning to the liturgical norms of our worship of God. We understand that a period of transition is necessary after a year of pandemic adjustments. We also understand that God received with a listening heart our prayers for deliverance from this pandemic, as we keep in prayerful remembrance those who are still severely affected by the pandemic spread. Let us continue to be the image of Christ to one another as we place all of our trust in the Lord Jesus.
In gratitude in the Lord,
Fr. Tom Lam
Updated Pandemic Protocols for Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.pdf
Fr. Tom Lam
on Wednesday, May 19 at 10:16PM