It is with great joy that I announce that the public celebration of the Mass will resume on Monday, May 18 and share with you the details developed with a team of parishioners to resume public celebration of the Mass. I have missed you more than words can express. As we return to celebrating Mass together, I ask for your patience and understanding. The risk of Covid19 remains significant, especially for seniors and people with underlying health conditions. Therefore, it is imperative that we be respectful of the norms and guidelines set forth by health care professionals regarding social distancing. In order for us to embrace the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all of our community, we have to make difficult and possibly uncomfortable adjustments. We will not be able to attend Mass as we had before Covid19 if we are going to protect each other and ourselves.
It is very important that you remember the dispensation from Sunday obligatory attendance at Mass has been extended to June 30th. Bishop Spalding reminded us in his letter to the Faithful May 7, 2020:
“The Dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in effect through June 30th. Those who have an active illness (including infection, flare of a chronic illness, etc.) anyone over the age of 65, those with a history of heart failure, lung disease, diabetes, ongoing malignancy, any immunosuppressive disorder, those on steroids or other immunosuppressive medications, those who have been advised by a healthcare professional not to attend Mass, and those who live with anyone with any health vulnerability, are strongly encouraged to remain at home at this time and refrain from attending Mass. Additionally, anyone who is worried that attending Mass would add undue stress or jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they live, are also encouraged to remain at home.”Bishop Spalding, May 7, 2020
During this time, we will need your help more than ever. I ask that you please consider ways in which you can volunteer and share your gifts and talents in addition to your financial support. The changes that are necessary during this time of social distancing have produced many opportunities for people to share their many gifts and talents.
The guidelines for celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will remain in place until I, in consultation with the diocesan and parish teams, deem that they can be altered or suspended.
To be in compliance with social distancing guidelines, there will be necessary changes in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I have temporarily suspended all liturgical music. There is a limit to how many people can be in the Church at the same time, and everyone is strongly encouraged to bring and wear a mask. Seating will not be as it was before Covid19; therefore, you may not be able to sit in the place where you may have sat in the past. As your Pastor, it has always been a joy to look out and see you, knowing just where to look to find so many of you or make eye contact with you. This will be a difficult adjustment for me as well as for you.
There will be signs in strategic places on and near the church to help guide you. To maintain social distancing, we ask that you arrive at least 20 to 40 minutes early so that ushers can seat you. Please follow the signs as you approach the Church. I ask that only those who have a physical need use the side doors. Everyone else should enter through the front doors on Graylynn Drive. It will be important that you follow the ushers’ directions in maintaining social distancing. At the end of Mass, remain in your place until an usher comes to lead you out; further, we ask that you promptly leave when the usher comes to you. Per Bishop Spaldings’ guidelines to pastors, bulletins will be distributed after Mass. The newly established cleaning ministry will clean the church after each Mass.
One silver lining to the social distancing is that I or a deacon will come to you to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This may take a few minutes longer, but it will allow us to maintain social distance guidelines during the reception of the Holy Eucharist. As I approach you, if you are wearing a mask, please remove it from your mouth to ensure reverent reception of the Holy Eucharist.
Even though we encourage you to continue to carry hand sanitizer with you and use it whenever you touch surfaces, there will be hand sanitizer in strategic locations to make it easily available for you to use. Also, members of the cleaning ministry will wash all of the pews after each Mass. In each pew, there will be a two-sided laminated card. One side will be green, and the other side will be red. When you enter the pew, the green side will be showing. We ask that you turn the card over to the red side to assist the cleaning crew. Even though all pews will be wiped down, the cleaning crew will give extra attention to the ones that have the red side of the card showing.
You will now be required to register for Mass as we must limit the number of parishioners in the Church in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Thank you in advance for your flexibility if you are asked to attend Mass at a different time than you have in the past. Please visit our website registration page or our Facebook page to register. For those who do not have internet access, we politely ask that a family member make your reservation. Church volunteers will be placing a limited number of phone calls to those who we are aware of that do not have internet access. If you have not updated your records in the past month, we ask that you call the Church office at (615) 889-4065 and do so as soon as possible.
I am so grateful to those who have been able to continue contributing to the support of the parish during this time. While I realize that this is a time of great uncertainty, I ask that everyone who is able to financially support prayerfully consider giving that support to the parish. We have been without the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for two months, which means that the parish income has drastically decreased while bills have continued to accrue. I am deeply grateful for your generous support. It is needed now more than ever.
You remain in my daily prayers. I am looking forward to gathering with you and celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for and with you.
- Public celebration of the Mass will resume Monday, May 18
- Bishop Spalding has extended the dispensation from Sunday Mass through June 30th
- Everyone who is 65 years old, has an underlying health condition or is living with someone with a health vulnerability should refrain from attending Mass at this time
- We must respect the norms and guidelines of social distancing, including wearing masks that cover our mouth and nose
- Per Bishop Spaldings’ guidelines to pastors, bulletins will be distributed after Mass
- Things will be very different; please be patient, understanding, and flexible
- There is a limited number of people who can attend each Mass
- Use the green/red card to indicate your use of a space in Church
- Please register for mass at our website (https://www.holyrosarynashville.org/) or via our Facebook page
- The guidelines for celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will remain in place until Father Steiner, in consultation with the diocesan and parish teams, deem that they can be altered or suspended
- Father Steiner has suspended all liturgical music
- Collection baskets will be in the Narthex; please place your donations in them as you enter or leave the Church
- Please remember to provide financial support to the parish