Thanksgiving and Christmas Masses
As you know, in these days of pandemic nothing is as it has normally been. So it will be with our celebrations of the coming holidays, both at home and at Mass. Because of limited seating due to social distancing we are only able to accommodate a certain number of people at each Mass. I would encourage all of you to remember:
· The dispensation from attendance at Mass on Sundays and days of obligation remains in place, so nobody should feel they “have” to go to Mass.
· Those who are in high-risk groups are still encouraged to consider watching Mass from home at this time, especially as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise.
Given that our weekday Mass is already pretty full because of the social distancing, we will have two Masses on Thanksgiving morning. At 8:30 we will have a Mass with music, and at 10:00 we will have a “quiet” Mass without music. Because of concern for the numbers we might get, registration ahead of time for each of these Masses will be required. Online signups will be available beginning Monday, November 16th through our website. Click on “Sign up for Masses.” If you do not use the Internet, please contact the office and we will assist you. We will not be live streaming either of these Masses on Thanksgiving, so anyone not coming to the Masses is encouraged to view as Mass through CatholicTV or other streaming service.
Christmas is a time when we generally see many people at Mass we haven’t seen in a while and Christmas Eve can be particularly busy. The Archdiocese has given parishes permission to begin Vigil Masses as early as 3:00 PM. I anticipate not being able to accommodate as many people as would like to be at Mass, so we will again be requiring all people wishing to be at Mass to pre-register. Please let anyone you know who will be wanting to be at Mass for Christmas know about this requirement. Our tentative (and this is subject to change) schedule for Christmas will be as follows:
Christmas Eve: (Dec. 24): 3:00 in Ward Hall; 4:00 in the Church; 5:00 in Ward Hall; 6:00 in the Church
Christmas Day: 8:00 and 11:00, both in the Church
Again, remember that attendance at Mass on Christmas is not an obligation this year. To assist everyone in their desire to be a part of Christmas Mass, we will plan to live stream the 4:00 Mass on Christmas Eve on our Facebook page, and it will continue to be available for replay. I would also encourage you to remember that we celebrate Christmas as both an Octave (8 days in which we celebrate as if it were Christmas Day with various feasts) as well as a season which culminates this year on January 10th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. You might choose to come to Mass on a day during the Christmas season.
Online signup for Christmas Mass will be available at some point in December, but I wanted to offer this information now so that you can be thinking about it.