Dear St. Mary’s Parishioners:
As we prepare for the resumption of the celebration of public Mass on Monday, June 8th, I would like to share with you some guidelines that we will be following in order to comply with the recommendations of local, federal and international authorities, as well as, the recommendations of the Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento. The guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of those who participate in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Bishop Soto’s decree of March 13, 2020 dispensing ALL Catholics from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and Mass on Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect. Please keep in mind that even if one does not attend Mass on Sunday, it is important to keep the day holy. This can be done, for example, by participating in a live-stream Mass, praying the Rosary, reflecting on the readings from Mass and doing some spiritual reading.
Those who are in the vulnerable category (i.e. individuals age 65+ and persons with compromised health conditions) are asked to continue to shelter-in-place ordinances that are in effect by the state and local ordinances.
Be assured that the church pews and bathrooms will be sanitized after each Mass.
In order to facilitate the sanitization of the church between Masses and to comply with the 100 person limit for each Mass, we will be having the following temporary Mass schedule:
Sat: 5p Eng, 7p Span
Sun: 6a, 12p, 4p Span; 8a, 10a, 6p English; 2p Latin (Extraordinary Form)
The 10a, 12p and 6p Masses on Sunday will be live-streamed, with the capability of handling 100 “overflow” faithful in the hall. Those in the hall can participate in the live-stream Mass and ministers will bring Communion to them at Communion time.
Mon-Sat: Mass in English at 8a
Tue & Fri: Mass in Spanish at 6:30p
Confessions will be offered on Saturdays from 3:45p to 4:45p and on Tuesdays, from 5:30p to 6:15p. We will not use the confessionals. We priests will continue to hear anonymous confessions in the St. Joseph’s Chapel, allowing for proper spacing. Probably, we may also use the cry room for Saturday confessions.
Parishioners are encouraged to wear masks and gloves during Mass, but must remove them to receive Holy Communion. Parishioners are asked to use hand sanitizer before receiving Holy Communion. Dispensers will be set up in the church for this purpose. For the reception of Holy Communion, you will go forward in one line, maintaining a distance of 6 feet between communicants. Parishioners are encouraged to receive the Body of Christ on the hand. However, if a communicant desires to receive Communion on the tongue, he or she will not be refused. Communicants will receive Communion only under the species of the bread. Priests, Deacons and Ministers of Holy Communion are asked to wear a mask when distributing Communion.
Parishioners coming for Mass will enter St. Mary’s Church only at the main entrance on Hemlock Street and will exit the church, after Mass, through the north side doors, in order to facilitate one-way traffic.
Missalettes will not be available for Mass. However, we will provide a worship aid with the hymns that you can take home with you or leave in the pew at the end of Mass. Each Mass fresh worship aids will be placed in the pews.
I know that all of these practices will make our experience of worship somewhat different. However, if it helps to make things safer, I know that we are willing to make the sacrifices necessary so that we can celebrate public Mass again in our church. Thank you for all your patience, support and prayers during these difficult times.
Blessed Holy Trinity!