Important Information Regarding Mass Attendance
What a joy it is to begin to allow those feeling comfortable to receive Holy Communion at Mass again! I so rejoice in the vision of Archbishop Lucas in allowing this gift to those that feel safe enough to receive it!! Those that at this point do not feel comfortable are invited to participate via Facebook live during the regularly scheduled Mass times as has become usual.
There are a couple of items I’d like to address. The first is the use of masks. Speaking for myself, I find this uncomfortable, awkward, and borderline inappropriate in Church. It is also unclear to my untrained mind how beneficial it is. Nevertheless, I would wear one throughout Mass if (a) I could still be understood over livestream, (b) I was closer to people when I’m talking and, most importantly, (c) it makes people safer and more comfortable attending Mass. The purpose of the masks is not principally to protect the wearer from others, but to protect others from the wearer. This is why priests and EMHCs will be wearing masks distributing Holy Communion. There are always going to be vulnerable people at Mass. It only makes sense that we do everything we can to protect them, even if we feel inconvenienced. So, I invite everyone to bring masks and wear them when in the Church for Mass.
The second is the distribution of Holy Communion to the elderly and the homebound. I always rejoice when people desire to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. This joy overwhelms even the immense pain of having to deny this reasonable request to bring Holy Communion to homes during this pandemic. Because everyone is essentially “homebound”, there is no way to discriminate one group of homebound parishioners from another. If Holy Communion is distributed to some and not others this is a problem. Additionally, the intimate connection between Holy Communion and the mass is in danger of being damaged if communion is brought to those that are not “sick” when there are so many rightly staying sheltered due to the pandemic. However, if someone is in an urgent situation, and I would interpret this urgency VERY loosely, I am more than happy to bring Holy Communion personally, along with any other sacramental remedies (e.g. confession, Anointing of the Sick and Last Rites). Just contact me via email or the parish offices and let me know. It’s why I’m here!