On 29th June I announced with joy that our churches will be open once again for Mass on Sunday 12th July, with Masses everyday from Monday 6th. This note I hope clarifies some points now guidance has been published by the Diocese and the Government.
Baptisms can now take place. No more than 30 can attend Baptisms but I am now keen to baptise those of your children who are eligible. I think meeting to prepare parents and godparents is important and I would be keen to do this over Zoom or in the Vicarage Garden. These will be able to happen on Sunday afternoons at 2pm. Currently this is the only time available as there is a 12noon Mass every Sunday to spread the congregation out.
Confirmations. Bp Jonathan sadly couldn’t come to confirm at the Good Shepherd in May because of lock down but I hope he will be able to come on 15th November to St Mary’s as planned. I therefore intend to begin Confirmation Classes as normal in September. These will happen at 2pm on Sunday afternoons and I will write the usual letter soon with more information. Do start thinking and praying about this if you have not been confirmed, and/or have not been baptised and/or have not been admitted to Holy Communion and are over the age of 11. Speak to me or Fr Rimmer if you have any questions.
Sunday School will continue to get via Zoom as during the last few weeks today and on Sunday 12th July. Thereafter we’d encourage you to bring your children to Church (remember we can’t provide activities for them so bring your own). Sunday School will not then happen every week until we get back to normal but it will happen on dates we’ll advertise.
Holy Communion will be administered at all Masses. To avoid the priest saying words near members of the congregation, the Church has said the words of administration should be said by us all together before you come forward. So, the priest will say, “The Body of Christ,” and everyone responds, “Amen,” and then he will say, “The Blood of Christ,” and again we all say, “Amen.” Then you come forward to receive Holy Communion. The Host (The Body of Christ under the form of the Consecrated Bread) must be placed in your hand and this will happen in silence. You’ll be kneeling or standing on spaces marked out so that two metres distance can be maintained even at this point. Holy Communion will only be given in one kind, that of the Lord’s Body, knowing that we receive Christ fully in each form. After this do return to your place.
Singing. At each Sunday Mass there will be a Cantor who is the only person permitted to sing. This is sad but the guidance is quite clear because there is a concern that singing is more a contagious act than speaking.
If you normally go to the 10am at St Mary’s on Sundays, do consider coming at 12noon on Sundays so we can spread folk out and ensure social distancing.
It’s exciting to think we’ll be worshipping together again very soon!
Fr Morris, 5th July 2020 (The Fourteenth Sunday of the Year)