Dear Sisters and Brothers,
It was announced on Wednesday that houses of worship in Anne Arundel County may hold indoor services starting today at 5pm. Seton Parish will not be ready to open for public Mass this weekend.
However...it is my hope that we will be open for public Mass on the weekend of July 4/5, with a modified Mass schedule:
Sunday, 9:30am (also live-streamed) and 5:30pm.
Those wishing to attend Mass will have to sign-up with the number of people attending. We are doing this because we can only allow 107 people into the church based on our parish layout in accordance with State, County and Archdiocesan guidelines. To allow time to experience and adjust to these new protocols in physical spacing and in celebrating liturgy, our covid-19 Task Force will provide me with guidance before I add Masses to the Sunday schedule as well as daily Masses.
For Seton to re-open, a number of things need to happen:
1. The Ushers and Eucharistic Ministers will have to go through special training to greet and check you in at the Main Entrance, show you to your seats and sanitize the church after Mass. A number of these ministers would need to consider their age and health status if they wish to serve during the pandemic.
2. I will be asking you to sign up for service in the event that these ministers cannot help during the pandemic. Volunteers would need to go through VIRTUS and Heather Algiere will be happy to assist you. Training in specified tasks will be provided. So, please step up and take ownership of our parish!
3. The worship space will need to modified to ensure proper social distance, especially during the distribution of Holy Communion. A large number of chairs will need to be moved to the Parish Center which will make it easier to sanitize the church. Signage will need to be posted as well as floor markers to show you where to stand.
While we are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment - socially distanced seating, sanitization, the requirement of face masks on the property and in the church - we cannot guarantee a totally risk free environment.While I am excited to welcome you back, I do have pastoral concerns. I think it is important for each of us to discern our own individual circumstances in regards to our own health and the health of our loved ones. We must prayerfully decide whether it is the right time to return to public worship. As we know, many members of our community are highly vulnerable during this time, and the risk of returning to public worship should not be taken lightly. To repeat, although we are trying to take serious precautions at Seton Parish, we cannot guarantee a totally risk free environment.
With that being said, here are some things we will be asking of you when we reopen the church for Mass:
- Please take your temperature before leaving for Mass. If you are experiencing any symptoms, including fever, persistent cough, and/or shortness of breath, DO NOT come to the parish until you are healthy.
- When you arrive on our property for Mass, everyone (ages 2 and older) MUST wear face mask or covering when you get out of your car and keep your mask on until you reach your car after Mass.
- Social Distancing will be practiced. The Ushers/Eucharistic Ministers will be available to assist you and to ensure that the guidelines are followed.
- When you arrive at the doors of the Church, Ushers/ Eucharistic Ministers will escort you to your specified seat (which will be at least 6 feet away from the nearest family).
- There will be no sign of peace during Mass.
- There will be no sharing of the Precious Blood in the Cup.
There will be no offertory basket passed. You may put your offertory into baskets in the Narthex before or after Mass. I encourage you to sign up for our online giving platform, GiveCentral (available here)
There will be no hymnals available because there will be no congregational singing.
The Church and restrooms will be Sanitized between Masses.
After Mass, we kindly ask all parishioners to return to their vehicles without congregating.
The Church doors will be locked during and between Masses to ensure that safe numbers of people are maintained inside and to make sure the church is properly cleaned before the next Mass.
I will continue to communicate what to expect when you come to Mass by way of social media and Flocknotes. More information will be forthcoming on expectations and how to sign-up for Masses.
As we have been doing for over two years, Daily Mass (Monday-Thursday at 9am) and the Sunday 9:30am Mass will continue to be live-streamed. Archbishop Lori has stated numerous times that if you are not comfortable attending Mass or if you are not feeling well or dealing with chronic illness during this time, you are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass until further notice!
Thank you for your continued patience as we work together to navigate this reopening process as safely and smoothly as possible.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered THIS Saturday and Sunday, June 6 & 7 from 1:00pm—3pm in the Parish Center.
A volunteer will greet you and provide instructions.
When you arrive— please wear a mask!
At the 9:30am Mass, we will be acknowledging and thanking those seniors who have regularly and voluntarily served our parish community throughout their high school years.
Please check out our tribute to the Class of 2020 here or here
Our summer seminarian, Michael “Mickey” Carroll is moving into the Rectory today. If you see him around or on-line, please welcome him!
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.