What to Expect When You Come to Mass

Dear Parishioners,

Welcome back!

We are very excited to be able to celebrate Holy Mass with you in person.

With the input of government officials and medical professionals, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has formulated guidelines for attending and celebrating Mass throughout the Archdiocese,                    and we have worked diligently as a parish to ensure that these guidelines are implemented as best as possible here at Holy Infant in order to keep each of us safe when coming to church.

I would like to share some of what you can expect when you come to Mass at Holy Infant for the foreseeable future. Below is a video link and written explanation.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2979202305461536

  • Masks– The Archdiocese is requiring the use of a mask/nose and mouth covering for all persons over the age of 2. The mask must be worn when walking into church, leaving church, and any time that you move about church (i.e. coming forward to receive Holy Communion, using the restroom, taking a child to the back of church, etc.).
    When you are in your pew, the mask may be worn at your discretion, but it is not required at that time.
  • Church Entrance– All entrance to the Church will occur from the vestibule through the main interior doors of Church. The handicap/automatic exterior entrance will still be open, but those who use it will need to walk down the hallway to the vestibule in order to enter the church proper. There will be no entrance through the gym/lower cafeteria doors.
  • Seating– In light of guidelines issued by St. Louis County governing the number of persons who can be in public buildings as well as safe distancing guidelines, we have determined the number of persons who can be seated in our church. This was the main reason why we required sign-ups for Sunday Mass.
    When you come to Mass, please allow the hospitality ministers to seat you as they know how to seat households in order to safely have everyone attend Mass. At the more crowded Masses in particular, the size and shape of our church necessitates that- with some exception- smaller households will be seated near the front while larger households will be seated near the back. This will require flexibility from everyone insofar as you may be seated in a pew that is not your “regular seat.” Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.
  • Bulletins– In light of the prohibition on having books/missalettes in the pews, the weekly bulletin includes both the Scripture Readings and antiphons/music for the Mass. We invite you to take a copy on your way into church and then take it home with you.
  • Holy Communion– The distribution of Holy Communion will occur after the conclusion of Holy Mass. The priest and deacon will receive Holy Communion at the typical time during Mass and then proceed to the purification and Concluding Rites.
    After the priest or deacon gives the dismissal (“Go forth, the Mass is ended,” etc.), all will be invited to kneel and Holy Communion will be distributed very similarly to how it is distributed during the celebration of Mass.
    The hospitality ministers will dismiss pews for the reception of Holy Communion and taped lines (yellow and/or green) on the floor will indicate the proper spacing between households.
    Persons must wear a mask when walking forward to receive, and the mask should be lowered/moved just before receiving.
    Archbishop Carlson has required all persons to receive Holy Communion in the hand for the time being.
    After receiving Holy Communion, each person should return their mask to its original position over the nose and mouth.
  • Departure/After Communion– Since the Mass will already have been concluded, after receiving Holy Communion each household can either exit/leave immediately or return to their pew for a period of prayer. All of the typical exits from church may be used for departure.
    As you exit church, please go directly to your vehicle and do not congregate/visit in the vestibule or outside. It would be a good spiritual practice to take a few moments once in your car to make a Prayer of Thanksgiving to God for the Holy Eucharist just received.
    If you choose to return to your pew, please wait until everyone has received Holy Communion before exiting church, likewise going directly to your vehicle.
  • Sanitation– Each of the priests and deacons will be following proper sanitation measures during Mass and during the distribution of Holy Communion. This may require them to pause during the distribution in order to sanitize their hands. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
    All of the pews and restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized after each Mass.

 

We look forward to praying with you at Holy Mass!

God’s blessings to you and your family! Fr. Ed Stanger