• on May 21, 2020

St. John Neumann Mass Procedures Amid Covid-19

This letter includes a summary of important highlights related to new procedures and directives. This information has been e-mailed as well. Please send an e-mail to news@sjnknox.org if you are not receiving our emails. If you have questions about any of this information, please e-mail news@sjnknox.org or call the church office: 966-4540.

Saturday Mass

· The public Saturday 4:30 p.m. Mass will resume June 6.

· The May 30, 4:30 p.m. Mass will be exclusively for RCIA candidates, their sponsors, and their families.

Sunday Mass

· Public Masses will resume on Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

· We are adding a 6:45 a.m. Mass on Sundays, beginning May 31.

· We will wait a few weeks to resume the Sunday 6 p.m. Mass, but it will be back.

Daily Mass

· Now following Summer schedule (beginning May 25)

· Tues./Thurs. Masses will now be at 6:45 a.m.

Are you obligated to attend Mass at this time? No.

Should you attend Mass at this time?

Until further notice, Bishop Stika has dispensed the Sunday obligation to attend Mass and therefore, those who are vulnerable or just not comfortable going to a public Mass should continue to participate in the many livestreamed Masses our parish offers and may continue to make a “spiritual communion.”

If you have traveled out of the country, currently have or have recently had a fever, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please do not attend public Mass at this time. Please see the COVID-19 information at cdc.gov/coronavirus if you need further information.

Will hand sanitizer and masks be provided?

We have a limited number of masks – please bring your own mask or face covering. We will work on finding more masks.

Please bring the hand sanitizer [at least 70% alcohol] that you prefer. If you do not have hand sanitizer or it is not strong enough, we will have sanitizer available near the Communion stations.

Please read the following procedures before attending public Mass at St. John Neumann.

Due to these procedures, please plan to arrive at Mass at least 15 minutes before Mass begins.

If we exceed the number of people allowed in the church for any Mass, we will have Mass in the SJN school gym at the same time. Communion will be distributed at the Masses in the school gym as well.

If capacity is reached in either location (the church or the gym), for the safety of all, you will not be allowed to enter.

Prior to leaving your vehicle, all parishioners must put on a protective face mask or covering over their nose and mouth.

Although same-household family members may walk together through the parking lot and into the church, all others must maintain distancing when in the parking lot and entering the church building.

You will only be able to enter the church by the front doors – ushers or signs will indicate which doors to enter.

Entrance into the church will be in a single file line maintaining 6 feet between each group of same-household family members.

Please sit only in the main section of the Church. The choir loft is limited to our musician and cantor so they can have the appropriate amount of distancing.

There will be no nursery until further notice. Additionally, the family room in the back of the church will not be accessible since the appropriate amount of distance between families is not possible in such a small, enclosed space.

Please do not embrace or shake hands with others at any time.

Ushers will escort each group into church for seating. The number of congregants at each public Mass will be strictly limited to 50% capacity (or lower). Seating areas will be marked off to ensure 6 feet of distancing in all directions between groups of same-household family members.

Per Bishop Stika’s instructions: “Individual parishioner singing is discouraged as it is thought to be an activity that expels significantly more aerosolized droplets of virus,” thus most Masses will be ‘spoken’ though we will continue to have organ and a single cantor at the principal Mass [10:30 a.m. Sunday in the Church].

Collection baskets will be at the entrance to the Church – you may drop your offering in the basket as you enter the Church. As usual, you may continue to give online as this is the best and easiest way to give, or you may continue to mail your envelopes to the Church office. If you would like to set up online giving, please visit sjnknox.org/give.

Please do not hold hands during the recitation of the Our Father.

For the time being we will omit the Sign of Peace.

Holy Communion

Per Bishop Stika’s instruction – Reception of the Host on the tongue is strictly prohibited at this time, and distribution of the Chalice is suspended.

An usher will direct groups to Communion. Once you leave your pew/chair, you will proceed single file with your mask still covering your face (maintaining 6 feet apart) to the distribution point.

Immediately before you reach the distribution point, you will remove your protective face mask, place it in a pocket, and sanitize your hands at the station provided or with your own sanitizer.

Standing on the floor-marked X, receive Holy Communion in your hand, and after responding ‘Amen’ immediately consume Holy Communion, put your face mask back on, and return to your seat.

Dismissal

Once Mass is completed, an usher will go to each pew (one pew or row of seats at a time) and direct each group of same-household family members to exit the church by single file line, maintaining 6 feet between each group of same-household family members.

All parishioners should go directly to their car and immediately depart.

Thank you very much for your patience and flexibility during these unique circumstances.

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