SUNDAY HOLY MASS OBLIGATION
REINSTATED ON JUNE 26
The bishops of dioceses located in Maryland, Delaware. the District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia have announced that the Sunday Holy Mass obligation will be reinstated on Saturday, June 26. Wearing masks is strongly encouraged for those who are NOT vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated may continue to wear it. Social distancing is not required. However, I ask that different households practice at least 3 feet social distance in our pews when it is possible.
WHEN THE OBLIGATION
DOES NOT APPLY
The bishops state that, “This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions. One should consult his or her local pastor if questions arise about the obligation to attend Mass (Canon 1245 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2181).” Read the entire Statement here.
CHANGES AT HFC
Effective, Saturday, June 12
-- Confessions: We will return to the Reconciliation Room with chairs and an air purifier.
Effective, Saturday, June 19
-- Seating: Open seating, every other pew, with worshippers seating themselves. I thank the ushers for their dedication over the year with seating people.
Effective, Saturday, June 26
-- Seating: The blue tape will be gone. All pews will be available for seating.
-- Multipurpose Room: Available for seating. The door should never be closed.
-- Hymnals: They will be back in the pew racks.
-- Holy Water Fonts: They will be filled in the nave and the narthex.
-- Vigil Light Stands: They will be in the nave and the narthex.
WHAT WILL NOT CHANGE
AT HFC FOR NOW
-- Communion: Instructions remain in effect. Clergy & Communion Ministers wear masks.
-- Restrooms: Continue to follow the instructions on the signs.
-- Sanitization: This will continue after every liturgy. I thank the cleaning crews for their work.
As we make these adjustments, we need to be patient and kind with each other. The polemics about this pandemic in the public square have no place in a Christian community, or any community. "... in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
We can rejoice that progress is being made against this pandemic. God is answering our prayers. Let us be grateful to those who have been on the frontlines to fight against it. This is not an issue of having faith or holding on to fear, but to show love. Patience and kindness are ways of loving others according to Saint Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4ab).
Father Raymond Harris