From Our Pastor: Return to Mass
As we have seen increases in Mass attendance, we are going to need to make adjustments to be able to accommodate the people who are returning. As our infection rates number have been almost nonexistent in our county and our county health department is the model for vaccination for our state and honestly our country, we have seen great increases in attendance. I believe this is a real reaction to the longing many have for the return to the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the return to the Eucharist, and as we talked about last week the return to the Lord. As we look forward with trust in the Lord there will be some alterations.
First you will notice holy water returned this weekend. It is optional. It is not a requirement to use to enter a Church, but it is a laudable practice that brings grace and calls to mind our own entrance into Church at baptism. If you feel comfortable using holy water, please feel free to use this great sacramental. If you do not feel comfortable yet, please know that it isn't a necessity, and you are totally ok with skipping it. We will be emptying those fonts more regularly and cleaning and sanitizing them more regularly. Blessed Salt will be added to the water, a wonderful ancient practice, that has not only the supernatural realities it brings, but natural cleansing/sanitizing properties. We will be adding Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion as needed to accommodate the growing numbers. As we see that social distancing spacing being decreased, and the knowledge that this virus doesn't remain on surfaces long at all, we will be removing the ropes from the middle aisle sections for those who are comfortable with sitting closer to one another, still encouraging that masks can be worn, but for those who still desire the social distancing may be seated on the exterior pews, which will remain roped off.
If you are also concerned about social distancing more, the balcony is available, roped off every other pew, and distanced from the rest of the congregation. We will continue live streaming the 9:00 a.m. Mass as well. I believe many are realizing that Mass attendance is not just an obligation, but a fervent deep desire for being in His presence and being in communion with the Lord and with the Body of Christ, His Church.
Let us grow in our trust in Him, and be not afraid to return to the Mass. As we make adjustments, I pray we are all patient and loving to one another. I pray, that as we approach Holy Week, we may each open our hearts to see God calling us back to Himself and the Mass, whether it's been during this time of COVID this last year, or it has been a much longer period away. God is waiting for our return to Him and return to the Mass. Do not delay...do not be afraid.
Rev. Steven Arisman