Special Announcement—June 3, 2021
You may have heard that the area Bishops from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington announced the lifting of the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will go into effect on the weekend of June 26 and 27.
After conferring with the archdiocesan COVID-19 Taskforce and taking the pulse of many pastors, June 26 and 27 will also be an appropriate time to remove all restrictions related to social distancing that have been in place during the last year in order to be able to accommodate the full return of our parishioners. This is in addition to the removal of other restrictions that were recently announced such as the requirement to wear face masks.
The Bishops are very careful to mention that “this obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions. One should consult his or her local pastor if questions arise about the obligation to attend Mass” (Canon 1245 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2181).
On June 14, the clergy will be meeting over Zoom with Archbishop Lori to discuss and give input regarding whether to retain for the time being any other safety protocols (such as prohibiting receiving Communion under both species, passing collection baskets, hugging or shaking hands with folks outside ones household at the Sign of Peace, etc…).
As we get closer to the weekend of June 26 and 27, I’ll have more news to share as move forward on this path back to “normalcy”.
This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ as an opportunity to ponder the mystery of Jesus’ Real Presence to us as we celebrate the Mass. The Word “Eucharist” is the Greek word that means “to give thanks.” Literally, we give thanks today for the way in which we encounter Jesus in “giving thanks.” It is a great gift to us that God chooses to be present to us in such a tangible yet mysterious way: under signs of bread and wine, he literally gives his Body and sheds his Blood for us. We often say that love is found in the little things... receiving Holy Communion is certainly an experience of that. A simple morsel of bread (the host) and a sip of wine become so much more for us: the very love of the God who lays down his life on the cross for our sake. As a priest, one of the most fulfilling things I do is celebrate the Mass, and I always try to keep in mind as I do so what a blessing it is to have such a personal encounter with Jesus.
I invite you to encounter Christ too as the Archdiocese of Baltimore begins Year of the Eucharist! Over the past 15 months, the pandemic has created for many a painful separation from the Body of Christ, not only from seeing familiar faces but from receiving the Lord, as the Church teaches, in his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
As I mentioned last week, if you have been away from Mass for a while, welcome back – Jesus has been waiting patiently for you and his Church is more complete when you and your family members are here. If you have been worshipping with us since the churches reopened, I have been encouraged by your presence. Whether you have been receiving Christ sacramentally in the Eucharist or offering a spiritual communion from home, Christ has been with you and the witness to this encounter that is expressed by your lives has made a difference not only in our parish, but in the world.
At Sunday’s 9:30am Mass, we welcome Parker Harman to the table of the Lord for the celebration of his First Communion. Congratulations Parker!
At the conclusion of the 11:30am Outdoor Mass on Sunday, we will have a Eucharistic procession back into the Church. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will then occur until 5:00pm. Did you know we have Adoration on Tuesdays from 9:30am until 4pm? Come, and spend some quiet time and prayer before the Lord!
Following Masses Sunday morning, I’ll be leaving for New Jersey for my annual retreat with six of my brother priests that make up our Emmaus Support Group. This will be the first time we will be together after meeting 15 months over Zoom! Please pray for us as we will pray for you! Fun Fact: Our group started in 1981 and I joined them in 1995, leaving me and two other pastors STILL active in ministry!
Father’s Day Spiritual Bouquet Cards are available in the Narthex. This is a lovely way to pray for our fathers! Please return the envelope in the Offertory or put it into our secured mail box at the church drive.
If you happen to see our Deacon Intern Kenneth Lukong, please welcome him to our parish.
Have a good week!
ELEMENTS OF THE CATHOLIC MASS VIDEO SERIES:
We are beginning week 21 of our video series, Elements of the Catholic Mass. I would invite you to watch Episode 21 this week titled, Bows in the Mass and reflect on how this might help you in your faith. Here is the link to the episodes page.
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
Don’t forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and keep your social distance (3 feet) as you approach the Main Entrance and you sit in the Church!
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) 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.