Yellow Phase Preparations
The two-sentence summary of this message is that we will begin to gradually open the Church for the celebration of the sacraments. Please wear a mask, keep socially distanced, bring hand sanitizer and put a lawn chair in the trunk of your car. Please read further for more details on this process during the “yellow phase.”
As we enter the “Yellow Phase” in the COVID -19 Reopening Plan, we will begin to slowly open the Churches for participation in the Holy Mass and to receive the Sacraments. Our first weekend of public mass will be Saturday, June 6th -7th. To ensure the safety of all who attend, we have implemented a variety of protocols as recommended by the CDC. This will be an adjustment for everyone. I ask that you be patient with this new process.
First, live streaming of the Masses will continue using FACEBOOK live and posted on our website, www.olomercy.com.
During the yellow phase, attendance at mass is voluntary. We strongly encourage anyone who has a personal health risk, lives with someone who has a health concern or does not feel comfortable being in large crowds, should remain home at this time. Anyone who feels ill or has any symptoms, please remain home until you are well.
We are allowed 25% of our capacity to enter the Church which is 75 people. However, to begin this process, we will begin with 60 people. Many pews have been blocked off with blue tape to allow for adequate spacing. While families and couples may sit together, everyone else must maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. We ask that you enter through the side door on the cemetery side. You are already familiar with this when you enter a grocery store; you must wear a face mask. Here is a list of protocols:
1. Please arrive a little earlier than normal as the process to enter may take some additional time.
2. Face masks are to be worn by all of the lay faithful (except for children under 2). You are asked to bring your own mask.
3. When you approach the Church door, you will be given a numbered bulletin by a greeter. The bulletin will contain the readings and the lyrics for the hymns. You will notice there is no holy water or hymnals or missalettes in the pews.
4. You will be directed to an open pew to sit. Families are permitted to sit together. All others are asked to respect the 6ft social distancing requirement. Please be seated and do not congregate in the back of Church.
5. Once the Church reaches its capacity, you will be invited to go to the side parking lot adjacent to the rectory. We will broadcast the mass via a speaker to the side parking lot. There will be no seating, but you may bring a lawn chair into the parking lot. We ask that you maintain appropriate distance of 6ft. The priest will bring Holy Communion to this area after the mass is concluded.
6. There will be no offertory (bringing up the gifts) or a collection. We encourage you to use online giving. However, there will be a basket near the front of the Church. You may place your envelope or your offering when you approach the altar to receive Holy Communion. The sign of peace (handshake or hug) is omitted. There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood from the cup.
7. At communion time, you will be asked to form a single line. Please maintain the adequate spacing by using the blue lines on the carpet as guides. We will begin on your left side (the Blessed Virgin Mary side). The first pew will come forward for Holy Communion. The next pew follows. When the left side is complete, the right side (St. Joseph side) will begin to approach for Holy Communion.
8. As you approach the front of the communion line, lower your mask. Or you may wait to respond then lower your mask. You will be asked to place your hands under the plexi-glass barrier. The priest will say, “Body of Christ.” You will respond, “Amen.” After you receive the Blessed Sacrament in your hand, you will step to the side, and consume the host. Replace your mask and return to your seat for a time of thanksgiving.
9. After the final blessing and the hymn is complete, you will be directed to exit the Church from the last row. The left side then the right side. Then the next row will follow. Please continue a distanced and orderly exit out of the cemetery side door. All formal and informal gatherings are not permitted after Mass.
10. For those individuals who are present in the “overflow side parking lot,” the priest will bring Holy Communion at the conclusion of the Mass. There will be a place to receive Holy Communion and leave your offering. Please keep adequate spacing between people.
11. While attending Sunday mass is our “normal” practice, please consider attending Daily Mass during the week. The crowds tend to be considerably less.
Cleaning / Sanitation
• Each person is expected to bring their own hand sanitizer and/or wipes. We ask that everyone sanitize their hands before mass or before receiving Holy Communion.
• The Priest will thoroughly wash and sanitize his hands before the celebration of the Mass and before and after he distributes Holy Communion. In addition, there will be sanitizer near the priest, should he come in contact with someone while distributing Holy Communion.
• The Church will be cleaned and sanitized between each of the masses. The pews will be wiped down. All door handles and entrances will be wiped down.
• Restrooms are available for Emergency Only!
** Looking for volunteers to help clean after the masses to wipe down the pews and door handles with soap and water. If interested, please contact the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org**
Altar Servers, Choir and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are not permitted at this time.
Group activities or meetings during this time have been suspended during this time. We encourage to you to use social media like Zoom, Skype, etc., so you can meet virtually.
The parish office will remain closed at this time. If you have any questions, please call the parish office 610-252-7381 or send an email- email@example.com. We will get back to you. We do have staff checking and working modified hours. Thank you for your patience.
**If there is a spiritual or pastoral emergency, or you need the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, please do not hesitate to call the parish phone. Extension 311 will redirect you to another line where you can leave a number and message. Someone will return your call immediately.