Parish Update

St Agnes + St Paul of the Cross + St Rose

"Where two or more are gathered . . ."

June 29, 2020

Well, we did it! The holy sacrifice of the Mass was offered at all three churches this past weekend. Was it smooth and flawless? Were there no mistakes or oversights? I wish I could say so, but to the best of my knowledge there was nothing irreparable. The traffic jam during distribution of Holy Communion at Saint Rose was such that at one point most of the congregation was standing; either in the center aisle approaching to receive, or in one of the side aisles returning to their pews. At Saint Paul of the Cross I forgot to inform the ushers that the collection would not be taken in the traditional way; but by the time that mistake was discovered it was too late, the ushers had already begun their duty. Yet these are easily fixed problems. The greater level of frustration that might be felt is the ‘invasion’ of our sacred worship practices with social distancing, masks, sanitizing, etc. While these precautions encroach on the traditional nature of worship, they are necessary to contain a resurgence of Coronavirus contagion.

As I write this note on the feast the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul the familiar story of Jesus walking on the water is relevant. At first Saint Peter was successful when he wished to join The Lord is this miraculous display of divinity. But once he felt the wind and the splash of the waves, he lost his focus on The Master and began to sink into the dangerous waters. Let us not allow the difficult aspects of church attendance to divert our attention. For several months we could only attend Mass virtually, via TV or the computer. Now we can be there in person! We can hear the Word of God proclaimed live from Sacred Scripture. We are privileged to receive Our Lord in the precious Sacrament of His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. In our congregation Christ is also present, because “where two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them.” The glass is more than half full, it’s overflowing!

We are very grateful to all ushers, whose role in the orderly flow of Mass has increased dramatically. And we all owe and a huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers who have helped us to disinfect pews and other common surfaces after Mass. Your generous gift of time and service is absolutely crucial; we literally “couldn’t do it without you!”

Until next time; see you in church!

Father Michael Fowler

General Guidelines

Mass Attendance

1. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended in the Diocese of Rochester

2. Those who are at a higher risk for COVID-19 and those concerned for their health should not to come to church.

3. Those who feel sick in any way should not come to church.

4. All persons two years old or older must wear a face mask. Please provide your own mask.

5. Attendees should sanitize their hands at the entrance to the church. Sanitizer will be provided but use of your own is appreciated.

6. All persons present at Mass must maintain six feet or more away from other persons (“Social Distance”). Families of the same household may sit together.

7. Offertory collections will not be taken by ushers, a large collection basket will be placed in the center aisle for contributions to be placed before or after Mass. PLEASE consider online giving

8. Missalettes or other worship aids will not be provided; you may bring your own materials but please remember to take them home with you.

9. The Sign of Peace remains suspended.

10. No holding hands during the Our Father expect among families who wish to do so.

Receiving Holy Communion

1. Distribution is via the host only, which is the Body and Blood of Christ; there will be no separate offering of the Precious Blood.

2. Only the Priest Celebrant will distribute Holy Communion. Approach via the center aisle. observing the tape on the carpet with 6 ft intervals delineated for social distancing.

3. Once the host is placed in the palm of your hand, move to the side, lower your mask, consume the host and replace your mask.

4. Return to your seat via the side aisles maintaining social distance as much as possible.

5. Be patient, the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, no hurry.