Guidelines for Resumption of Mass at Holy Cross Church - July 2020

Dear friends,

Now that the celebration of Mass at Holy Cross Church has been allowed, every effort has been made to ensure that the risk of viral transmission is greatly minimised.

Of course, as well as the efforts that have already been made at the Church, we must also take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and others. This includes effective hand sanitisation and adhering to social distancing.

Please take careful note the following guidance:

  • If you, or a member of your household have any cold or flu like symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay at home. Please do not come to the church.
  • There is 2 metre social distancing requirement in Church. This means that you don’t have to wear a face covering, even though you are free to do so if you wish. However, if you have come to Mass as a family, or live in the same household, you are not required to strictly adhere to social distancing and may populate a bench together.
  • When you arrive for Mass, please fill up benches row by row starting from the front in an orderly fashion, so that we can safely seat the maximum number of people. Please arrive in good time before Mass starts to minimise disruption. Because of the need for social distancing, the maximum capacity at Holy Cross is 60 (sixty) people for each Mass.
  • As you enter the church please sanitise your hands.
  • Government Guidance stresses that congregational singing is to be 'specifically’ avoided.
  • Jerusalem Mass sheets, hymn books and hard copies of the newsletter will not be available. For all parish information please refer to the parish website and Facebook page which are regularly updated.
  • No altar servers of Extraordinary Ministers will be required until further notice.
  • The homily will be short, and there will be no Prayers of the Faithful.
  • There will no physical ‘sign of peace’.
  • After the prayer ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ … and the response ‘Lord, I am not worthy’…. the priest will raise the host and say ‘The Body of Christ’ to which we will all respond ‘Amen’. He will then raise the chalice and say ‘The Blood of Christ’ when we will again respond by saying together ‘Amen’. Holy Communion will then be distributed and received in silence.
  • Those receiving Holy Communion should come forward one row at a time beginning with the first row. Please ensure that you maintain social distancing. The presiding priest or deacon will distribute Holy Communion under one kind only. Please hold your arms at full length and have your palms flat so that the priest or deacon can place the Body of Christ onto the palm of your hand for you to then consume reverently. If you are not receiving Holy Communion, please also come forward and ask for a blessing by holding your arms across your chest. By doing this, no one will have to ‘step over’ or ‘pass close by’ to other people. Having received Holy Communion, communicants and non-communicants should immediately leave the Church by the side aisles. There will be no final prayer, notices or final blessing.
  • Over the past few months, most parishes have experienced the challenge of reduced finances. We thank you for the offering you give. Collection baskets will be kept at the entrance of the church rather than passed around during the Mass. You may also give your donation after receiving Holy Communion as you make your way towards the side aisles. Baskets will be on clearly labelled tables. If you are not already doing so, please consider making your weekly/monthly donation by direct debit/standing order with your bank. Thank you again for your continued and generous support.
  • The Toilet facilities are open, but please use the anti-viral spray after use, and dispose of the blue cleaning paper in the bin. Please do not flush it.
  • The church must be cleaned and disinfected after each Mass and particular attention will be paid to those surfaces which are frequently touched e.g. door handles, benches etc. Please leave the Church as swiftly as possible, so that the doors can be closed and the cleaning regime undertaken.
  • If you wish to speak to Fr Michael or any of the other clergy, then please contact them by phone or e mail.

If we all adhere to these guidelines until we are told otherwise, then we can ensure a safe gathering for the celebration of the Eucharist each time we participate at Mass.

It’s good to have you back!

With my best wishes and every blessing,

Fr Michael

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