Proposed Mass Times from July 4th
11am - Exposition & Private Prayer | 12pm - 1st Mass of Sunday
5pm - Mass
8am - Mass | 10.30am - Mass
Tuesday to Saturday
9am - Mass each day
At last, after more than three months, from July 4th, mass and other sacraments will again be celebrated publicly However, it would be quite rash to describe this as “back to normal”: far from it.
A letter from the Archbishops about this return is being sent out with this Newsletter. (It has already gone to those on the WhatsApp list). Much more detailed information for the clergy, can be downloaded from here: bit.ly/3dHrqEx
From July 4th, our own masses will continue to be live streamed, and although we will move to mass times closer to what we had before the lockdown, we are now moving to an “inbetween” stage.
Not all Churches will be open, and those which are, such as ourselves, will have to follow precise social distancing and hygiene measures.
The Church understands that many faithful catholics will not be ready to take part in public masses. The Sunday obligation has not been reintroduced. No one has to attend mass on Sundays and holidays. The Church encourages us to hear mass, but on any day when it is offered, and only if it is safe to do so.
Also, mass will be celebrated with some unfamiliar features. There will be no congregational singing, and face coverings must be worn. Social distancing (1m+) must be observed. Communion (in the hand only) will be distributed after mass, and you will leave the Church immediately afterwards.
We will need volunteer stewards for every mass or service. Many of you have volunteered already. The celebration of daily mass will depend upon stewards being available.
If you can volunteer as a steward and/or help with cleaning please complete the online form here: https:// bit.ly/2BY2hsh
We will also need the co-operation of Eucharistic ministers, readers, counters and so on. I will be in touch will all of you again very soon.
No dates yet, but we expect that churches will open first for private prayers, and sometime later for worship. Churches will not be allowed to open if they do not meet the requirements of social distancing, which includes the kind of measures we are familiar with in the banks and supermarkets.
We will need to provide cleaning, sanitising and protection equipment, and have signage to ensure social distancing. Thorough cleaning will be needed each time the church is open. We have been told that not all churches will be able to open at once, and that the measures put in place may need to continue till the end of the year, perhaps longer.
We will need a good number of volunteers for cleaning and stewarding, and anyone who is self-isolating or shielding, which includes most over the age of 70, will not be able to be a volunteer. The Diocese has produced detailed documentation (about 20 pages) which I am happy to share with anyone who is interested. We are already starting to work on the guidelines.
Full Closure of Catholic Churches
Following the Prime Minister’s historic announcement last night (23 March) strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Churches are closed to the public at this time.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols stresses that we must all play our part to safeguard the NHS and to save ‘precious lives’. “We’re going to play our full part in it. That was the call of St. Paul that we ought to be good citizens and today we ought to be good citizens playing our part in the protection of the vulnerable, in our support for the NHS and in the preserving of human life, which is so precious to God in the face of this virus.”
Good Afternoon everyone.
Another couple of quick notices.
This morning’s mass can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3bk1heb
It has a bumpy start. Facebook lets me “trim” the video, but it doesn’t seem to work. For me, anyway. So far, facebook tells me the Mass has been watched by about 400 people
(! probably not all the way through). I’ll have to find out how to do a virtual collection!
Church is open today till 4pm. (This is a change from an earlier notice). There are mass sheets in Church with the readings and responses on them (as usual). I will also produce a handout/bulletin, though I might not get it into Church by the end of the day.
Tomorrow - there will be posies for the Mums, which I will bless at the 10:30 mass - livestreamed and recorded - more about this in the next post. (No panic buying please!)
UPDATED : 20.03.20
Here is a bit more news about arrangements for keeping and practicing the Catholic faith during our time “in the wilderness”.
As you know, from Saturday 21st March there will be no public celebration of mass throughout the UK. These are the arrangements for us for the next few weeks.
I will celebrate Mass privately in Church at 8:30am from Tuesday to Saturday. The mass will be live streamed through our facebook page, and a recording of the mass will remain on the facebook page for the rest of day at least. On Sunday, the mass will also be broadcast live on the parish web page at 10:30am. Mass intentions will be published in advance each week through CCL (this list), the website and facebook.
If possible watch the mass live or later in the day.
(Our Lady of Lourdes are planning to broadcast mass live in the same way at 9am each weekday except Wednesday and at 9:15am on Sundays).
The Church will be open every day (except Monday) for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I plan this to be from 9am till 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. We will keep these times under review.
Please try to visit the Church at least once a week, even if it is just for a few minutes. Come along at any time in this period. Please use the prayer sheets for Spiritual Communion, as well as to light candles, privately pray the rosary, or the stations. Music will also be played during this time - mostly recorded, and sometimes performed by our parish musicians. Please note, though, that groups should not gather in Church, and no formal worship should be arranged for set times. When in Church at the same time parishioners should sit apart, about 2 metres or more from one another.
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