Sunday Mass Sign Up
If you don't feel safe leaving the house,
join us for Mass via Facebook Live!
11:30 am (Ordinary Form)
5:00 pm (Extraordinary Form)
It's not the same thing as being here in person but I hope it will help you honor your duty to God in these difficult circumstances!
Since churches re-opened at the end of May, periodically I have heard from some of you that other parishes have only roped off every other pew and asked if we could do the same. Having reviewed our set up and the measurements, I am now satisfied we can move to every other pew and still maintain the CDC distance requirements. This should also mean that we can forego the sign-up process.
Please know that I very much want as many people as possible to come to Mass. I certainly am eager for us to get back to normal. I hope this comes as a relief, especially as we get further into the winter. I thank those of you who have respectfully asked me to reconsider our pew usage.
Again, this should mean that we don’t need to bother with sign-ups (effective immediately), but we’ll keep an eye on that for good measure. We still need to limit the number of households in a single pew to provide adequate distance in that direction, so please follow the instructions of the ushers.
Also, please remember a few of our other protocols:
- Please use the center isle to access the pews before Mass, the side isles to return to your pew after Holy Communion.
- Please follow the directions of the ushers, especially where to sit and when leaving church after Mass.
- Please do not socialize (within six feet) with members of another household, especially inside the church. The church must be a place of prayer.
Finally, please don’t wait to the last minute to arrive. While arriving early helps everyone get settled in time for Mass, even more importantly, we need to take time to pray and focus before Mass begins. We should not treat the beginning of Mass the way we do the previews before a movie – the beginning of the Mass is an important part of the entire Mass and the worship we offer to God.
God bless you,
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I am happy to report (although a little surprised! haha!) that the Mass outdoors went very well and, most importantly, very reverently. In fact, one parishioner commented that there was a more profound silence at this Mass! I think that's a testimony to how much effort everyone made to enter into the mystery of the Mass. A good reminder to all of us (myself included!) that periodically we need to stir up the fire of reverence and devotion in our hearts.
Having this Mass outside allowed us to dramatically increase our capacity. (The six feet rule is our limiting factor inside. We are still waiting for word on how the Governor's latest directive will effect us.).
Thank you also to all put in a lot of hard work to make this happen!
On September 20 and future Sundays, weather permitting, the 9:30 am Mass will be celebrated outdoors.
To help us plan for the Mass, please do sign up for the 9:30, however, it is not strictly required.
If there is bad weather forecast, a Flocknote Message will go out at 7:00 am advising that Mass will be celebrated inside the church.
Please read below to review the insturctions if you haven't had a chance yet.
God bless you,
Some Instructions for Participating in Mass outdoors.
- Mass will be celebrated in the Courtyard (main/primary lot behind the church and school).
- The gates to the street will be closed shortly after the 7:30 am Mass ends.
- You can still exit even if the gates are closed, just pull your car up close to the gate and wait for it to open.
- Please save the parking spaces by the garage for those who have trouble walking.
- Bring your own chair and something to kneel on, but it’s okay to stand during the Consecration or sit if you really need to.
- Enter the parking lot through the gates near the sacristy.
- Households need to be six feet apart from each other.
- When staying six feet apart outside, masks are not strictly required but recommended.
- And don’t forget that we don’t know what the weather will be like.
- It could be hot and humid.
- Wind could be a problem too.
- If it rains, we will get as many people in church as we can. Hopefully we'll have an idea of what to expect early enough to send a message ahead of time.
- We will have kneelers to receive Holy Communion - it will be as much like as we are doing in church as possible.
- Please sign up to give us an idea of how many people to expect.
- It is not strictly necessary, but it will help us be prepared.
- Enter the number of PEOPLE for the 9:30.
- For the other Masses, continue to enter "1" for households of 1-4 people, and "2" for households of 5-12.
- This is a test run. Please be patient. If it goes well, we may do more, but we need to see how one goes first.
God bless you,
I think we have found a reliable system for people to sing up for Mass and not risk being turned away at the door. Above, please find sign ups for Sunday Mass.
Please note the following about signing up:
I think we have the system for signing-up for Sunday Mass almost nailed down. Here are three slight adjustments.
- Instead of indicating the exact number of people in your household, when you sing up your household, you will enter a “1” if the number of people in your household who are attending Mass is 1-4. You will enter a “2” if the number of people in your household who are attending Mass is 5-11.
- Another adjustment has to do with giving everyone a chance to attend Mass. I think as time goes on we are going to get closer to our capacity at each Mass. I don’t want you to have to worry each week if you will be able to get in, like for a concert that you expect to sell out! In other words, I’d like you to have as much peace-of-mind about what to expect as possible. So, starting next Sunday, we will use an honor system for who has “first dibs” on signing up. It will be based on the letter of the alphabet with which your last name begins. That particular section of the alphabet will have priority from until the Wednesday prior each week to sign up for Sunday Mass. After that Wednesday, anyone can sign up.
- On the 1st and 3rd Sundays (including the preceding Saturday [i.e. the day before]) of the Month, if your last name begins with A to H, you can sign up first, from Monday to Wednesday.
- On the 2nd and 4th Sundays (including the preceding Saturday [i.e. the day before]) of the Month, if you last name begins with I to Z, you can sign up first, from Monday to Wednesday.
- After Wednesday each week, anyone can sign up.
- The third is that the sign-up will close at 4:00 pm each Saturday.
- Not having to do with signing up... if you want to follow along with the texts of the Mass, and don't have a hand missal yet, please clcik here.
- You can print it off for a friend who doesn't have internet access.
If you intend to come to Mass this Sunday (Saturday evening), please read this message carefully.
- Please remember that there is risk for catching this virus whenever you leave your home.
- You are not required to attend Mass.
- We will continue to live-stream Mass.
- Folks who are more vulnerable should especially consider staying home (65 years of age and older, those of any age with underlying medical conditions)
We will use our regular St. Mary’s Sunday Schedule:
- 5:15 pm (Saturday)
- 7:30 am
- 9:30 am
- 11:30 am
- 5:00 pm
Please keep in mind that, depending on the size of each household, we will only be able to fit 60-70 people in the nave (main body of the church).
- There are 14 pews that we can use.
- The maximum number of people that can sit in the nave is 100.
- The maximum number of households that can be seated in the nave is 27.
- Both of these numbers will probably be smaller depending on the size of each family.
It is possible that we may have to turn people away at the door.
Please be patient with us. We are very eager to have you back, but it is a challenging task to do this right/safely. It is well worth the effort, but it might not go perfectly.
I ask you to please bear these sufferings and inconveniences patiently, in union with the Lord’s Cross.
Before you leave home
- Take your temperature
- Stay home if it reads 100 or more
- Use the bathroom
- The bathroom at church will be available, but it would be better to minimize its use.
- You need to wipe down all the surfaces you touch.
- Please arrive 30-15 minutes before Mass begins to allow extra time to be seated
- Please put your mask on before exiting your car
- Come to the “cry room” entrance
- All other entrances are locked form the outside, but can be used as emergency exits.
Ushers will seat you (you probably won’t be sitting in your preferred place)
- Front to back
- Wall side first, then center isle side
- Only 14 pews are available
- One pew can accommodate
- Four (4), possibly five (5), members of two (2) different household
- Up to eight (8), nine (9), or ten (10) of the same household
The Cry Room can only be used by four (4) people either
- To wait for the bathroom OR
- To calm children for a few minutes
- The vestibule can be used by one parent to calm children for a few minutes.
- As soon as the child is calm, please come back to your seat in church.
- If the child can’t seem to be calmed after a few minutes, please step outside, but know that we want you back in church with us as soon as posssible!
Instructions will be given before Mass about singing and the distribution of Holy Communion
- No Pew Missals or hymnals will be available.
- If you wish to follow the texts of the Mass please bring a hand missal or an electronic device to access these.
- If you still need a hand missal, click one of the links below.
- We are working on possibly providing something for future Masses.
At the end of Mass
- Dismissal will be from back to front.
- You might be in church a little longer than normal, so think about how much you have missed being in the Lord’s Real Presence! Take this time to have a good conversation with Him.
- Those who are staying to help clean are asked to wait outside or off to the side, six feet away from other households.
- With four (4) volunteers, cleaning should take only 10-15 minutes (more volunteers should mean less time)
- Thank you for your help!
Please reply with any questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your eagerness to return to Mass, but please be safe and patient. And remember, the struggles, sufferings, and inconveniences we expense in these circumstances area a real and important part of our path to holiness, that is, greater union with God.
God bless you,
UPDATE FROM MAY 21, 2020
- Congregational singing has been determined to spread the coronavirus more rapidly, so please realize that if we do sing, it will likely be selections that are not easily sung by the congregation.
- This a good opportunity to learn music, including Latin, by listening so that when the congregation is permitted to sing again, you will be more familiar with some beautiful liturgical music.
- We have removed the Pew Missals, hymnals, and other items as they are "high touch surfaces."
- Please consider purchasing a daily Roman Missal of your own with which to follow along the Mass. Ordinary Form. Extraoridnary Form.
- We need volunteers to call parishioners without email/internet access to share this information. Please reply to this note if you are willing to help.
There are more details that we need to share with you, but I think this is enough for the time being. I don’t want to overload you!
For now, I ask you to consider this. Some will find the measures we are being asked to take excessive, others will find them insufficient in some way, and others will be content. If you feel burdened or inconvenienced, please unite this suffering to the Lord’s Cross. The Lord’s Cross was a burden and inconvenient, it certainly was unjust, but He freely accepted it for our salvation. If we accept these sufferings in union with His, they will help us become saints and reach our heavenly goal together.
UPDATE FROM MAY 15, 2020
1. Our church will be open beginning at 5:00 pm, Friday, May 15.
- a. Please observe the necessary “physical distancing” of six feet between members of different households.
- b. You will note that some of the pews are roped off to facilitate this.
- c. While we will have volunteers on hand (and are in need of more) to help sanitize the spot used, as a courtesy, please bring along your own disinfectant wipes to clean the area at which you were sitting before you depart.
- d. Only the cry room entrance will be open, so please enter there and make use of the hand sanitizer on the way in.
- e. If you are able to navigate the steps, please use the side entrance to exit.
- f. Please note that while the church will be unlocked form 6:00 am to 9:00 pm,
2.Confessions are Saturday at our usual times of 11:30 am and 4:00 pm
- a. There will be two “confessionals.”
- b. You will be able to remain anonymous.
- c. Father Cibelli will be at the entrance to the Parish Center
- d. Father Langan will be nearby at the “Primary Entrance” to the School.
- e. You can pull up in your car, but please don’t go past the orange traffic ones.
- f. Please wait in your car until the priest of your preference is available.
- g. You can then get out of your car and sit or stand (or even kneel, but there will not be kneelers) at the indicated distance.
Please see the Archdiocesan Website for more information in the mean time.
Learn more about the 33-Day Consecration to St. Joseph we made as a parish community from March 30 - May 1. You can do so on your own!
You can find more info and how to get a copy of the book by clicking here.
Listen to our somewhat-daily refelctions on Facebook or here
- Spiritual Communion:
I wish, my Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility, and devotion with which your most holy Mother received you, with the spirit and fervor of the saints.
I think it is important to understand why these precautions are being taken. While I will not pretend to be an expert on this matter, those age 60 and older and those with underlying medical conditions are the most vulnerable to this virus. These measures will help to both slow the spread of this virus (which seems to spread much faster than others) and reduce the chances of it being spread to the vulnerable. A slowed rate of transmission will make it easier for our health care system to respond to those with serious needs.
Your cooperation with the directives of the Federal and State governments as well as those of the Archdiocese and others that specifically apply to St. Mary’s is essentially an act of charity. By observing these safeguards, you are helping to protect those for whom this disease might otherwise prove serious and perhaps fatal.
With that in mind, please note the following:
If you have recently been on St. Mary’s or St. Michael’s campuses and also learn that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus or if you test positive for it, please inform us by phone (301-739-0390) or email (email@example.com
) so that we can take the necessary precautions.
If you know someone who is elderly/vulnerable and might need your help or just a friend to talk to, please reach out to that person by phone.
If you think of someone who might not have received this message, please contact him or her to share it.
While homebound, do not neglect your duty to God. Offer Him your time in prayer by reading the prayers and scriptures for that Sunday’s Mass, by praying the Rosary, and or meditating upon the Stations of the Cross. We may even be able to provide live video of Mass being offered here at St. Mary’s.
Home visits and hospital or nursing home visits will only be conducted by priests and will be made according to the urgency of the need. Those who have been bringing Holy Communion to the homebound are being encouraged to offer their prayerful support over the phone.
As further information becomes available, we will share it via Flocknote and on our Website and Facebook Page. Please forward this email to anyone you think might need it.
Please pray for all those most effected by this virus, especially those who are ill and those who working to aid the ill and remedy the problem.