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Thursday, June 11th, 2020

OLMC is OPEN for ALL Masses! The Community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is thrilled to announce that due to the Archdiocese entering Phase 2 of their reopening procedures we will be opening the doors for public worship at ALL our Masses. Below are the latest guidelines!

  • 100 worshipers will be allowed into the Church for worship per Mass.
  • Church staff will be present to keep count and teach new communion procedures before Mass.
  • OLMC will provide “overflow” space, which will allow worshipers to hear the Mass and still receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

The Church and the Church Offices will also be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the Academy Main Office will open on July 1, 2020.

Livestream of the Sunday 10:00 a.m. Mass and the Thursday Daily Mass at 8:30 a.m. will continue.

One of the most difficult sacrifices for Catholics during this time of pandemic has been the suspension of most sacramental celebrations, especially the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The faithful hunger for the Body of Christ and the other Sacraments; pastors of souls yearn for the presence of Christ found in the gathering of God’s holy people. While we are eager to return to our churches, the process must be executed in a safe and prudent way.

The following guidelines provide for a gradual return of the People of God to font and table, reconciliation and healing. We thank all of you who have persevered in faith and charity during these times of challenge.

Please review the extensive precautions set by the Archdiocese below:

Six feet of distance must be maintained between households, even of one individual attending liturgy. Alternating pews are blocked off and clearly labeled.

Appropriate cleaning of high-use areas within the church should be done before each service.

Cardinal Tobin will continue to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days as well as from the “Easter duty”.

In accord with national, state and local health directives, those who show symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to another infected person are not permitted to enter the church for 14 days. It is recommended that Mass everyone should check their temperature at home before coming to church.

  1. Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issue or who are 60 or older are strongly encouraged to avoid the risks posed by attendance at public celebrations of the Mass.
  2. Parishes will continue to livestream the Mass, (10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live) so that those unable to attend may maintain a spiritual connection with their local parish.
  3. The Directives for Re-Opening Churches indicates that only 50 worshipers are able to attend each daily Mass liturgy. All the directives on social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing remain in force.

Before Mass

  1. The pews used by participants will be wiped down before Mass.
  2. All hymnals and missalettes are removed from the pews and stored for the duration of the pandemic. No other materials may be left in the pews. The faithful are encouraged to bring their own liturgical resources for use during the celebration of Mass. Parish misalettes are available for families to keep, once taken they can not be returned.
  3. Restroom facilities and door handles, push plates, and knobs are sanitized after each service.
  4. Holy water fonts remain empty until further notice.
  5. Hand sanitizers are available throughout the church, whenever possible.
  6. The faithful must wear a mask to enter the church and during the celebration of Mass, and for the brief moment while receiving Holy Communion, may remove mask while not facing the priest or minister to receive Holy Communion. These obligations are enforced without exception. Those at the altar will wear a mask while not in the sanctuary.
  7. Information will be provided before the celebrations regarding social distancing, the collection, the form of the Sign of Peace and the manner of receiving Communion.

During Mass

  1. Doors are propped or held open before and after Mass to prevent people from touching the door handles, knobs or push plates.
  2. Staff, ushers or other volunteers will direct people to specifically marked pews. As previously indicated, attendance will be limited to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.
  3. Families are to maintain six-foot distancing between their households, even of one individual, throughout the celebration of Mass.
  4. Seating must be maintained with six feet of distance between members of one household and members of another.
  5. Pews are left vacant in between rows such that six feet of distance can be maintained in all directions.
  6. The procession at the Preparation of the Gifts is suspended. Collection baskets (or any other materials) will not be passed from one family to another, nor shall ushers take up the collection from the congregation. Instead, fixed baskets will be used for donations from the assembly and will be monitored by the staff until the donations are collected and handled according to the proper protocols.
  7. There must be no physical contact during the sign of peace. A simple gesture, such as a bow or nod, is recommended.
  8. Separate chalices be prepared for each concelebrating priest and/or deacon.
  9. For the distribution of Communion, floor markings will be placed six feet apart in the aisles to facilitate proper social distancing in all directions during Communion.
  10. As usual the Priests will sanitize their hands immediately before and after distributing Communion. Ministers will avoid physical contact when placing the host in the communicant’s hands.
  11. Holy Communion is only permitted in the hand. Distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice is prohibited to the assembly. For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with the staff.
  12. A single-file line during the distribution of Holy Communion will be followed in order for the minister and communicant to maintain social distancing in all directions. One-way traffic patterns are to be followed.
  13. When approaching the Communion minister, the communicant should make a slight bow of the head, receive the host in the hand, step to the side, lift his/her mask and consume the host.
  14. Those who refrain from receiving communion still unite themselves with the sacrifice of Christ. Non-communicants are kindly asked to remain in their places rather than coming forward to request a blessing.

After Mass

  1. Families and individuals should leave the church in an organized manner wearing masks and observing six feet of distance between other households. Staff will direct this process.
  2. No bulletins or other materials will be distributed.
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