As per amendments made June 10 to the reopening guidelines by the Diocese, we are happy to announce the following:
Starting Saturday, June 13, churches will be able to resume the distribution of Holy Communion in the form of the Most Holy Body of Christ. The Precious Blood will NOT be distributed until further notice.
With this new development, there are several things to keep in mind with regards to the way we will conduct the distribution of Holy Communion:
- The distribution of Holy Communion will be moved to after the conclusion of Mass for the time being.
- This is done to allow priests to wear masks while in close contact with other people, as they are not allowed to have their faces covered during the Mass proper.
- This is also done to ease the flow of people past each other while walking to receive; parishioners will receive Holy Communion and then exit the church rather than walk back through the church and return to their seats, thus reducing the number of other parishioners they walk past so as to maintain appropriate social distancing.
- At Holy Name of Jesus, parishioners will follow the receiving line up toward the Alter, and then exit through the side doors to the parking lots after receiving.
- Priests and ministers may NOT wear glove will distributing Holy Communion, and parishioners may NOT wear gloves while receiving. This is in accordance with both CDC and Church guidelines.
- Priests and ministers will have hand sanitizer available next to them as they distribute and may pause distribution momentarily to sanitize their hands if they have come in physical contact with someone while ministering Holy Communion.
- Parishioners should wear their masks while on line to receive, then remove their masks right before it is their turn to receive.
These changes are done to ensure best health practices are easily maintained. The health of all parishioners is our number one priority. As such you may notice several other changes in the church and during Mass:
- Some parts of the Mass may be altered or removed. For example, there will be no invitation to exchange the Sign of Peace
- Priests may make announcements regarding new procedures at times if they feel it is necessary.
- Pews may be taped off, markings may be placed on the floor, and signs may be placed on the walls to help direct the flow of parishioners through the church and enforce proper social distancing.
- The church will continue to be cleaned regularly, especially after all Masses
We would like to remind everybody that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass is still in effect. Those in high-risk populations for COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home for their own health and safety. We ask that anyone who is not feeling well and anyone with a fever or cough of any kind should stay home.
When entering the church, please follow the guidelines listed above, as well as any mentioned in previous announcements and any guidelines given by the CDC. Remember that you must wear a mask when inside the church.
We are excited to be able to distribute Holy Communion again, and we look forward to seeing you this weekend!
The HNJ Parish Staff