WE WILL HAVE OUR REGULAR SUNDAY SCHEDULE IN BOTH PARISHES.
As you may have heard, the official "proclamation" is that we are able to celebrate "public" Mass starting next Sunday, May 10th.
It needs to be noted that the dispensation given over a month ago by Arch-Bishop Lucas of Omaha, the temporary administrator of the Lincoln Diocese, is still in place. So the obligation to attend Mass is still lifted for all Catholics in the Lincoln (and Omaha) Dioceses. The elderly and those who may be at higher risk from the coronavirus should "out of an abundance of caution" remain at home and tune in to Mass on television or live stream on the internet.
For those who are able to come to Mass there are some guidelines we must try to follow.
1. Seating at Mass: We are still asked to keep the social distancing directive. We will use only every other pew. The pews that are not to be used will be marked. I don't think we will have an issue at Saint Patrick's. At Saint Mary's there will be extra seating in the basement. I will have a television monitor to watch for anyone wishing to go down there.
2. We will not be passing the collection basket nor having the gifts be brought up.
There will be a basket at the entrance(s) of the Church for contributions.
3. Missalettes will be available on May 10th but I ask that you take them home with you. You are welcome to bring them back each Sunday. They are yours to keep and not to be left at Church.
4. For the time being we will not be having congregational singing. Yet, there might be some Communion meditation music.
5. Communion will be distributed for those who wish to receive. No one is obligated to receive Communion. I ask that you honor the social distancing of six feet between you and the person in front of you. In order to keep our distance, we will need to have only one Communion line, maybe alternating pews. For now I will be the only one distributing Communion. I will discuss this with our Acolytes. In the situation where an Acolyte is willing to distribute Communion, I would ask that, out of deference to him, that you receive Communion in the hand. We will be using slightly larger altar breads so it may be a bit easier to avoid skin to skin contact.
6. Don't forget "social distancing" after Mass. It is suggested that we leave the Church with this in mind by spending a few moments in prayer so others, especially older Parishioners can make their way out.
I'm sure there are other issues that will come up that I am forgetting. Please let me know if you think of anything that will help us stay safe and keep each other safe.
All those who wish to wear a mask at Mass are free to do so. At Communion time please be ever so careful in receiving the Eucharist with the added issues of a mask. Maybe one can remove or lower the mask before receiving in the hand, then repositioning the mask after receiving.
My Blessings to you all!