Sunday Mass Resumes Next Weekend with Registration
St. Mary's will resume celebrating weekday Masses publicly on Tuesday, May 19. Sunday Masses will resume the weekend of May 23/24.
To maintain safety and compliance with the governor's mandate, church attendance is restricted to 50% occupancy with 6 feet distancing. Recognizing that these limits would not be sufficient for a typical weekend Mass at St. Mary's, we will employ a registration system for Sunday Mass. We will also add an additional Mass, on a temporary basis, at 10:30 am on May 24 and May 31 to accommodate our restricted capacity. We will then reexamine the need for this additional Mass based on the May attendance.
I ask for your patience and prayers as we work to safely gather. Here's our plan based on diocesan guidelines:
Daily Mass will resume on Tuesday, May 19, at 12:10 pm (Tuesday-Friday) with no registration needed.
. A confirmation will be emailed to you. (I will be emailing servers and readers separately.)
People are strongly encouraged to
wear a mask
to Mass (excluding small children.)
Six feet distancing between individuals or household units
. Those families and individuals who live under the same roof may sit together in a pew; otherwise, people must maintain six feet of separation from others. Per diocesan guidelines, we are blocking off every other row of pews; this will ensure that the church remains at no more than 50% capacity without having to count heads.
We will be wiping down high contact areas, including door handles, pews, and rails, between Masses.
Limiting things that people touch.
Ushers will continue using our collection baskets on poles to collect the Sunday offering. We will not be bringing up the offertory gifts; the bread and wine will already be present in the sanctuary, and the collection handled by security. We are temporarily removing hymnals from the pews and will not have worship aids or bulletins for the time being. People are encouraged to enter through the main church doors, but exit through the side door.
The bishop strongly encourages people to receive Communion on the hand, but priests cannot refuse Communion to those who prefer to receive on the tongue. (I will be wearing a mask when distributing Communion, and will be receiving a COVID-19 test before May 19. Remember, you do not have to receive Communion just because you are attending Mass.) Communicants will be asked to come forward via the center aisle and return to their seats via the side aisles.
No coffee hour after Mass through the June 30, 2020.
Aside from Divine Worship and the celebration of the Sacraments (including weddings, baptisms, and funerals), there are to be no social gatherings in the parish of more than ten people.
During the initial reopening, we encourage the following to remain home:
Those who are age 65+
Those who have health risks or household members with health risks
Those who sincerely believe that attending Mass will jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they reside
And, of course, those who are sick
Bishop Spalding's dispensation from Sunday Mass has been extended until June 30 for all those in the above categories.
We are taking reasonable measures to curb the spread of this disease, but there is no guarantee that someone might not get sick from attending public church services. If you do not fit easily into one of the above categories but still have concerns about this virus, I, as pastor, can also dispense church members from their Sunday obligation on an individual basis. Just email the office if you would like to take advantage of this.
For those unable to attend Mass in person, I encourage you to watch Sunday Mass online and to make a spiritual communion uniting yourself to God and the Church in prayer when unable to physically receive the holy Eucharist.
Register for Saturday, May 23, 5 pm Vigil or one of three Sunday Masses (9, 10:30 or 12) on May 24: Solemnity of the Ascension
St. Mary’s confirmation will be rescheduled for the Fall. (No date on that yet.)
First Communion has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 15, at 12:10 pm (Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
The Ordination to the Priesthood which had been scheduled for May 23, is rescheduled for August 15 at 9 am at the Cathedral.
St. Mary’s will be open for confession and private prayer this Saturday, May 16, from 4 - 5 pm and this Sunday, May 17, from 8 am to noon.
This is a time of great hope and joy as we resume public Masses. However, until we are all able to gather together and fill our church completely for the glory of God, I ask you to recommit to praying for the end of this pandemic, for the sick and unemployed, for business owners, and for the safety and well-being of all, especially our healthcare workers.
Let me know if I can be of assistance to you and of any special prayer requests.
Fr. Jayd Neely, Pastor
330 Fifth Avenue, North PO BOX 190606 Nashville, TN 37219
Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.
on Thursday, May 14 at 3:12PM