Below you will find the guidelines specific to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the first phase of opening our church back up. We thank you all for your patience as we have compiled these. We are grateful for all of those who took the time to share their concerns and prayer requests with us; know that we have reviewed and considered each and every suggestion. Two more things that we would like you to keep in mind: firstly, that we are following all Diocesan directives which were made in conjunction with healthcare professionals, and secondly, that due to the changing nature of our current environment, these guidelines are as final as we could make them but are still subject to change.
We will be opening various aspects of our church on different dates.
- The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament opened for prayer 24/7 beginning May 20.
- Daily Mass began Tuesday, May 26, resuming our pre-coronavirus schedule of Monday through Friday at 8:30 am.
- The office is now open to the public.
- Weekend Masses begin Saturday, May 30. We will have a modified schedule of 5 pm on Saturday, 8:30 am, 11:30 am, and 5 pm on Sunday. This will allow for adequate time between Masses to completely disinfect the church.
- The Dispensation of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in place until September 13, 2020. Therefore, we will continue to provide Mass online for those who are unable to come to Mass in person.
- Confession is now available on a walk-in basis from 4-4:30 pm on Saturdays, and anytime by appointment.
Considerations for Chapel
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is now open again 24/7 for personal prayer. The following measures are to be strictly observed:
- Please use your personal hand sanitizer prior to entering the chapel, before and after touching anything once inside the chapel, and after you leave the building. We will also have sanitizer at the door.
- Disinfectant wipes will be placed by the door. We ask that each person who comes to pray to please wipe down anything you have touched before you leave. The chapel will also be periodically disinfected by our facilities team.
- No more than 6 people should be in the chapel at any time. If you arrive and find 6 people already praying, please wait outside in your car until someone leaves the chapel.
- We ask that anyone 2 years of age or older wear a mask or face covering at all times on campus. Wearing a mask is not mandatory, as we recognize the legitimate medical need for some to not wear a mask. However, as an act of extreme charity, we are strongly encouraging everyone possible to wear a mask. Please put on your mask as you exit your vehicle on campus, and keep it on until you enter your vehicle again to leave.
- 6-foot social distance must be maintained at all times. The cloth chairs will be temporarily replaced with metal folding chairs for ease of sanitation. They will be spaced apart and are not to be moved.
- Please note that outside of Mass times, the door to the Nave will be locked and thus bathrooms will not be available.
- Please stay home if you have any signs of illness or have been in contact with anyone suspected of illness, including but not limited to fever, chills, cough, cold, sore throat, difficulty breathing, headache, or GI issues.
- Please use your best judgement and stay home if you feel uncomfortable for any reason or if you are at risk.
Weekend Masses will resume the weekend of May 30/31. We will have a new Mass schedule of 5 pm on Saturday, and 8:30 am, 11:30 am, & 5 pm on Sunday. This will allow adequate time to thoroughly disinfect the church between Masses. The Dispensation for the obligation to attend Sunday Mass lasts remains in place until Sept 13, 2020. Therefore, Mass will also continue to be made available online each weekend. We have made a video to demonstrate our new protocols and procedures that will be in place. Please watch below:
When you come to Mass, the following measures are to be strictly observed:
Before arriving to Church:
- Wash your hands with soap and water at home for at least 20 seconds. That’s about the length of one “Our Father.”
- Please bring your own mask, and personal hand sanitizer to use before Communion. Do not bring clorox wipes or products containing bleach, as these may damage the pews.
- The side doors near the choir/rectory and the chapel will not be available. Please use the main entrances to the gathering space to enter the church.
When you arrive:
- Everyone over the age of 2 is asked to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in the Church, except when receiving Communion. The priest, deacon, and lector will not be wearing a mask while in the sanctuary, but they will be wearing masks for the distribution of communion. Wearing a mask on campus is not mandatory, as we recognize the legitimate medical need for some to not wear a mask. However, as an act of extreme charity, we are strongly encouraging everyone possible to wear a mask. Please put on your mask as you exit your vehicle on campus, and keep it on until you enter your vehicle again to leave.
- Hand sanitizer will be located at entrances. We ask that everyone use it before entering the Nave.
- 6-ft social distance is to be maintained at all times. Members of the same family may sit close to one another, but we ask that each family maintain 6-ft distance from the next. Ushers will be available to help seat you and your family.
- Only every other row of pews will be open. All others will be taped off. Different families may share a pew, as long as 6 ft of separation can be maintained between them.
- The Quieting Room is closed until further notice.
- Bathrooms will be open, but drinking fountains will be shut off.
- Holy water will not be available.
Procedures during Mass
- All hymnals have been removed from the Nave. Songs will be limited during Mass, and we ask that you take your song sheet home and discard it there. Please do not leave sheets in the pews.
- Bulletins will remain online only.
- Our practice of Prayer Partners is discontinued until further notice.
- There will not be any sales/soliciting in the Gathering Space permitted.
- There will not be any choirs.
- There will only be one adult server, who will also serve as the only lector for the Mass.
- We will not pass baskets for the offertory. Instead, baskets will be at the available entrance/exit points. Please drop your offertory envelopes in those.
- There will be no Sign of Peace.
- Communion will be distributed AFTER the closing prayer.
- Please use your personal hand sanitizer before receiving Holy Communion.
- There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.
- Everyone will come into the middle aisle to receive. The center sections will be released first, followed by the next section on each side, followed by the last section on each side.
- Taped crosses will be marked 6 ft apart to maintain social distancing while waiting in line.
- The priest, deacon, and any other Eucharistic Ministers will be wearing masks during Communion. They will all use hand sanitizer before and after distribution, and may also do so in the midst of communion distribution. Please be patient if the Eucharistic Ministers need to pause to sanitize their hands.
- You are strongly encouraged to receive Communion in the hand.
- Please continue to wear your face covering while in line. Immediately before stepping forward to receive, remove your mask. Receive communion, and step to the side to consume the Host. Then replace your mask as you follow the arrows on the floor to exit through the side doors. (See our video for a demonstration!)
- The Nave will be thoroughly sanitized after each Mass.
- We are in need of volunteers! If you would like to serve on our Hospitality Team or Sanitization Team, please contact John Moloci in the parish office at 614.875.3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you must stop and chat after Mass, please do so outside where social distancing is more easily observed.
Know that we are praying for each of you. We are looking forward to the day when we can all be together to worship.