** RETURNING TO NORMAL LITURGICAL PRACTICES**
Considering the update’s health guidelines by the Governor and the Rhode Island Department of Health, the following liturgical and sacramental practices assure to be reinstated effective next weekend, May 8/9. To facilitate a more welcoming environment, I am happy to share with you the changes we will put in place.
1, Indoor seating capacity is increased from 75% to 80%. Additionally, physical (social) distancing is reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Therefore, any previously “roped off” pews can be made available once again.
- The practice of making “reservations” is no longer required.
3.Ministers serving in the sacred liturgy, especially the priest celebrant, are not required to use a face mask.
The following should be reintroduced at this time:
Liturgical processions to and from the altar: Entrance, Offertory and Recessional can resume.
The use of hymnals, missalettes (worship aids) can be placed in the pews for use again.
Congregational singing should be encouraged along with choirs and cantors, keeping in mind the recommended physical distancing set forth by the RI Dept. of Health.
Holy Water fonts may be filled at the entrances of the Church.
The admonition to “offer the sign of peace” may be given. The “sign can be given without physical contact but should simply be done verbally.
The participation and presence of altar servers, readers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion is encouraged.
The distribution of Holy Communion should take place according to the norms of the Roman Missal and not after the final blessing.
The lay faithful should be reminded that they may receive Holy Communion either on the hand or on the tongue.
The following will continue to be observed at this time:
Sufficient hand sanitizing dispensers will be available at the vestibules of the church so that they can be used by parishioners upon entering.
The use of face mask is still required while indoors for large gatherings. However, it may be omitted for reasons of health.
Proper hand hygiene is encouraged, especially at the time of Holy Communion.
The distribution of the Precious Blood at Holy Communion to the lay faithful should remain suspended.
Proper ventilation for increased air flow and HVAC filtration should be utilized when at all possible.
Avoid unnecessary crowding at the entrances of the church and in the aisles whenever possible.
Parishioners are encouraged to maintain the recommended physical distance between each other with the exception for members of the same household while seated in the pews.
EFFECTIVE – MAY 8/9, 2021 Rev. Paul R. Grenon