As Father Gary mentioned in his announcements last week, we will begin making changes in our liturgy in light of new COVID safety guidelines, and with the goal of restoring some liturgical elements that have been changed during this past year.

The new liturgical guidelines issued by the AOD ask us to designate an area of the church where worshippers are guaranteed of a masked and socially distanced environment. So when you come to mass on Sunday and in the upcoming weeks, our Welcome Team members will ask you if you prefer to sit on the side of the church where masks are optional, or if you prefer to sit on the side of the church where masks and social distancing are required. We anticipate that the needs for these different types of seating may vary from week to week so we will do our best to remain flexible and, of course, keep everyone safe.

You will also notice that we will be restoring the Communion procession. For the time being we will have two stations at the front of the church for those seated in the front section of pews, and two stations at the midpoint of the church for those seated in the back section of pews.

Lastly, and maybe most exciting of all, we will resume handing out hymnals and encouraging you to SING! Our cantors will resume announcing hymn numbers and we look forward to the joyful sound of our community singing God’s praise together. Within the next few weeks we will also restore the pew binders, including a seasonal worship aid with the music for the liturgy included.

In future weeks we look forward to restoring the offertory collection, and the presentation of gifts.

As we gather and as we navigate these changes together, we remember most importantly that Christ is present in our midst – in the Word, in the Eucharist, and in one another.