Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing to you again on a topic that cannot be repeated enough, because it concerns every one of us – our health and well-being – and I am pleading that we give it our utmost attention and cooperate with the parish administration to ensure the safety of everyone who enters the parish compound.
It is about the Covid-19 protocols that we are all required to observe. The protocols are sanctioned by both the State of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Centre – call them State and Ecclesial Laws, if you wish, signed by the Governor, Andrew Cuomo and the Bishop of the Rockville Centre Diocese, Most Reverend John Barres, respectively.
The most basic of the norms are FACE COVERING and SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Obey the Laws: It is essential that we comply with these rules while in public places, including the church. Our strict observance of the protocols would show our vigilance for our own safety and that of others, because we are each other’s keeper. Please, remember that face covering means both your mouth and nose are covered. The Diocese has directed that if anyone has difficulty breathing, that person must stay at home and watch the Mass online or on TV (the Catholic Faith Network). The dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Masses and Holy Days of Obligation is still in effect.
You can watch our live-streamed Masses from the Parish website: www.saintjanefrances.org
Social Distancing applies to the communion lines as well. Ensure that you are six feet apart from the next person (unless that next person is your family member).
Arrival & Entry: Please, follow the direction of the ushers as you enter the church, and remember to sanitize your hands. There are hand sanitizing dispensers near every major door.
Holy Communion: Communicants are encouraged to receive in their hands.
Note the best way to receive communion: Keep your mask on when you approach the priest or minister to receive. Make a slight bow of your head in reverence to the Holy Eucharist, and respond “Amen,” when the minister says, “The Body of Christ.” Receive the Sacred Host in one hand, step aside, lower your mask, put the host into your mouth, and put the mask back on before returning to your seat.
PLEASE, DO NOT TAKE THE HOST TO YOUR SEAT.
It is preferred that you extend your hand straight and flat to allow the priest or minister to place the Sacred Host in your palm without making contact with your hand.
Reception of Communion on the tongue: Those who wish to receive on the tongue are asked, “out of charity,” to come at the end of the line. When they come forward, they are to open their mouth and extend their tongue out so the host can be placed on it without the priest or minister’s hand making contact with the recipient. “Out of charity,” because it would save those in line from waiting for the minister to go and sanitize the hands before returning to continue giving out communion, should there be an accidental contact with the recipient’s lips or tongue.
It is important to note that when we keep the protocols strictly, we give confidence to one another; that it is safe to come to church. I, therefore, appeal to all parishioners and visitors alike to observe the protocols faithfully.
As a reminder, announcements will be repeated during our Sunday Masses.
Stay safe and remain blessed.