Our Lady of the Hills

REVISED COVID GUIDELINES EFFECTIVE MAY 29, 2021

 

The Diocese of Springfield is following the recommendations of our Metropolitan See (the Archdiocese of Boston) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To that end, Gov. Baker will rescind mask wearing and fully reopen the state this Saturday, May 29th. 

As most of you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control issued a statement that in many settings fully vaccinated people may now go about their days not wearing masks and not social distancing. Beginning May 29, our parish will return to normal procedures. Our Diocese will adjust its protocols in accordance with the other Massachusetts dioceses and we will inform you of any developments that pertain to our parish.

1.  Dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains in effect for the time being. Our Diocese is coordinating with the other Massachusetts Dioceses on a date to end this dispensation. This is expected to occur in the not too distant future.

2. Vaccinated parishioners do not have to wear masks and can be seated anywhere in the church. We will operate under the honor system; no proof of vaccination will be required. For those who prefer to continue wearing a mask, this is, of course, perfectly fine.

3. Because some procedures worked so well during Covid, we ask that you voluntarily continue some of them: a) please voluntarily enter by the front center doors so that you can get a prayer missal if you do not have one already in order to follow the readings and sing the music and please keep this missal as your own until the end of November; b) please voluntarily place any parish offering in the collection basket which is located in the center aisle by the front door as you enter and before you go to your pew; c) please voluntarily leave the church by the front side door so that you can pick up a bulletin and any other materials if needed.

4. For the reception of Holy Communion please proceed in two lines along the center aisle to the front and then return to your pew by the side aisle. Depending upon the number of people at Mass we may need to have an Extraordinary Minister in addition to Fr. Richard.

5. Our parish will resume all its regular spiritual, educational, and social activities. Planning will begin now and events will resume after summer vacation as is typical each year.

6. Since we are in the middle of our current liturgical schedule (May, June, July) we will need to change a few things. Sanitizers will no longer be needed. Ushers are asked for now to become Greeters only and to secure the collection basket after the Gloria is sung. As noted above, Extraordinary Ministers may well be needed. Altar Servers are most welcome and encouraged to resume their ministry.

7. Please note that any of the things noted above may need to be modified if conditions change or something is found to be unworkable. Thus, please be flexible. Thank you!

Let us pray with and for each other!

Fr. Richard

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