Covid - 19 Updates
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As of March 1, 2022 -
With the continued decrease of Covid, the Diocese has issued revised directives for the celebration of public liturgies. Based on these and after discussion as a staff, the following guidelines will be in place at St. Joan of Arc.
In June of last year, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass was removed and all those who could were called to return to the public celebration of the Eucharist. Masses that are broadcast through various media are not intended as a substitute nor do they fulfill the obligation for persons who are able to gather for a Sunday celebration and other Holy Days of Obligation. The exception to this is for the following:
Those who are ill, those who have health risk factors or care for someone who is immuno-compromised or ill, as well as those who have fear or anxiety of contracting the coronavirus in a large group of persons.If you cannot attend Mass in person, you are encouraged to attend through live streaming, which our parish has been offering.Please note that the livestreaming of Masses is scheduled to cease after the weekend of May 28/29, 2022.
In light of prevailing circumstances and guidance provided by the CDC, the wearing of face coverings for those attending Mass is no longer required or mandated. Those who would like to continue wearing a face covering are free to do so. The two stations at our entrances that provide face masks and sanitizing solution will remain in place for the next few weeks.
Beginning this weekend, the choir will resume gathering and singing for the 11:30 am Mass and for other liturgies. Choir practice will be at 7 pm on Wednesday’s unless otherwise noted.
Beginning the weekend of March 26/27, the regular procedure of collection-taking through passing of baskets by ushers will resume. At that time, the two offering baskets at the entrance locations of the church will be removed.
Presentation of the Gifts
Beginning next weekend March 19/20, we will resume the presentation of the gifts (water, wine, collection) by one of our parish families. Individuals/families are encouraged to bring forth the gifts at the Mass of their choice. To reserve a Mass for the presentation, please go to the blue book that sits on the table next to the stand for the Book of Intentions in the narthex and sign up for a Mass.
Welcome/Sign of Peace
Because transmission of the virus is not touch-based, the gesture of shaking hands will be reintroduced next weekend (March 19/20). Please keep in mind that attention and respect should be afforded to those who, at this time, remain uncomfortable doing so. The gesture of bowing to others and offering words of peace to those nearby remains acceptable. Those from the same household can also offer a more expressive gesture.
Distribution of Holy Communion
Ministers of Holy Communion - Ministers of Holy Communion are no longer required to wear face-coverings during the distribution of Holy Communion. They are free to wear one if they so choose to do so. The practice of discreetly sanitizing hands after receiving and before distributing Communion will continue.
Distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue - Ministers of Holy Communion should respect the way the communicant desires to receive the host. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist should be open to offering Holy Communion to those who desire to receive in this way.
Reception of the Precious Blood - At the present time, the current environment suggests that reintroducing the reception of the Precious Blood from the chalice at all Masses is not prudent. The diocese has offered that a gradual reintroduction of the chalice at Mass may be done. Beginning the weekend of March 19/20, the chalice will be offered to the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. As well, the Precious Blood will be offered to the congregation on Holy Thursday. It is hoped, soon and with improving circumstances, an appropriate and proper reintroduction of the regular reception of the Precious Blood by the faithful will be possible.
The section of pews in front of the ambo (pulpit) that has been taped to provide social distancing will have these restrictions removed next weekend (March 19/20). Please keep this in mind as you look to select a pew for Mass.
Let us take a moment to thank God that he has brought us through a most difficult time. As a worshipping community we can be proud of the way we worked through so many challenges and stayed connected with Christ. Hopefully, from it, we have come closer to him and to each other as a community. If anything, it gives us a greater appreciation for what we have in each other and our ability to celebrate as a family. May we never take for granted the gifts and blessings of our parish or the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.