On March 17, Bishop Mark Spalding sent a letter announcing that he has signed a decree to restore the obligation for Sunday Masses, effective on Palm Sunday, March 28. In light of this news, here is what you can expect for our weekend liturgies moving forward:
- You will no longer need to register for weekend Masses. Anyone who would like to attend will be welcomed.
- In order to allow for increased attendance at our Masses, we will no longer be blocking off every other pew in the sanctuary.
- We will continue to offer the Eucharist under one species (the host). Since we are no longer skipping pews, those desiring to receive Holy Communion will be asked to come to the altar, as was the practice before the pandemic. Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC’s) will be assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion during our weekend liturgies.
In his letter, Bishop Spalding also indicated that “the law of the Church envisions situations where the obligation does not apply because of grave cause; any serious or ongoing risks and concerns you might have about the coronavirus can certainly constitute a grave cause.” If you have serious concerns about coming to Mass in person, you would not be obligated to come until that concern has been removed. We will continue to livestream many of our liturgies until further notice.
On May 14, Father Mark Sappenfield sent a letter to the parishioners announcing that, as of Pentecost Sunday, May 23, the mask mandate would be removed for all of the liturgies and activities at Saint Matthew Church. While masks will no longer be required, anyone who deems it necessary or appropriate to continue to wear a mask in the church building is free, welcome, and encouraged to do so.
Guidelines for everyone…
- Please use hand sanitizer stations as needed
- Parishioners are strongly encouraged to ‘receive the Holy Eucharist in the hand’