Welcome back! That is so nice to hear as we resume the indoor celebration of the Eucharist. After eight long months, longing and thirsting to come back, today we re-open our church doors. Fr. Edgar, the parish staff and I are very excited to have you back.
The parish staff have been working on protocols and guidelines for our Parish as we move into indoor worship. These measures have been carefully thought of to ensure the safety of the lives and health of all. All parishioners who come to church are asked to follow all directions given before, during and after the Liturgy. Please know that these guidelines may be revised or adjusted depending on the directives of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and the Diocese.
As the County of Santa Clara has entered into Orange tier classification, we are allowed to worship indoor with a maximum of 25% of capacity of our church or 100 persons whichever is less. However, I realize that not all of us are comfortable worshipping indoors. As such, we are going to reserve 80 seats indoors and 20 seats outdoors. It is very important that parishioners sign up or pre-register so that the Ushers will know where to seat you. I would like to encourage you to arrive at least 15 minutes early so that we can do the necessary check in as smoothly as possible.
Once again, I’d like to remind all of us of the following protocols:
– If you are sick, feeling ill or showing any signs of illness, please stay home. This is for your safety as well as the safety of others. Until further notice, the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and holy days remains in effect in the Diocese of San Jose. You may choose to attend Mass on television or other social media platforms.
– Attendees will be asked to wear a mask or, face covering, at all times upon entering the church. Anyone not wearing a mask will be offered one. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed to enter the church and will be asked to leave the property.
– As people enter, all will be asked to check in, sanitize their hands and wait to be seated by the Usher.
– People will be asked to observe social distancing as they enter the church. Attendees will be asked to use the main doors to enter although there will be two lines for signing-in and hand sanitation.
– The Attendees will be ushered to their seat. Please follow the instructions of the Ushers. Only families or people from the same household may share a pew and will be seated together in the side sections of the church. Please realize that it may not be possible for people to sit where they have been accustomed to sitting.
– The pews have been pre-marked already to make it easy to fill the pews and sanitize them afterwards.
– We will make every effort to offer hand sanitizer to people as they enter the church. However, everyone is encouraged to bring their own in case supplies become scarce or if they have allergies to certain type of sanitizing chemicals.
– Holy water fonts, hymnals and other worship aids have been removed from the pews.
– Restrooms will not be available and will remain locked as it is not possible to disinfect them after each use as the guidelines require.
– Assembly singing is not allowed in indoor worship. Only the cantor who will be in a separate room is allowed to sing. If you are sitting outdoors, you may sing as long as you are wearing your mask.
– There will be no offertory or collection procession.
– Parishioners are encouraged to donate using online platforms or the Donations may also be dropped at the parish office mailbox or sent by mail. A donation basket will also be available at the entrance of the church.
– During the Our Father or the Sign of Peace, please refrain from physical contact with neighbor unless you are from the same household. You may wave, bow to, nod or offer some other form of the sign of peace that may be consistent with your culture.
– Attendees will be asked to remain in their pew during Communion. The Ministers of the Holy Eucharist will be coming down and distribute Communion.
– Please do not congregate or socialize in the parking lot with fellow parishioners. Remember to keep the physical distancing.
I’d like to thank you in advance for your cooperation, patience and understanding. Following the protocols will help us keep our Eucharistic celebration safe for all.
Today, we thank our Good God for this beautiful gift of being able to come back to His House- the house of prayer and worship. May God continue to grant us His protection and may the Holy Spirit guide us and give us the strength that we need in our daily lives.