Dear parishioner(s) at St. Vincent De Paul and Blessed Sacrament:
I greet you all in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On May 22, 2020 Most Reverend Bishop Douglas J. Lucia sent us communication of the resumption of public worship in the Diocese of Syracuse which started this past weekend (Pentecost Sunday). He provided us with an elaborative document with instruction for the celebration of the Sacraments when public gathering resumes. The document informs us that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and he invited each of us to abide with various restrictions and precautions to ensure the health and safety of all. The full document is in our diocesan website to review at https://www.syracusediocese.org.
Since we had two options of celebrating the public Masses this past weekend (only ten people in church or 50% of the drive-in in the parking lot), we opted the parking-lot which provide more opportunity for many people to attend. We ended up with 61 cars.
As we move along, there may be a possibility of increasing amount of people attending the in-church Masses from 10 people to 25% of the church capacity. I would like to communicate to each one of you of what is ahead of us and what we should expect. If the number of people to attend the in-church Mass remains 10 only, our option for the weekend Masses will remain to be the parking-lot Mass at Blessed Sacrament parking lot at 4:00P and 5.15P on Saturdays and 7:30A, 9:30A, and 11:30A on Sundays. If the number of attendance to the in-church Masses is going to move from 10 people to 25% of the church capacity, the weekend Masses will NOT be in the parking lot at Blessed Sacrament but rather they will be in our church building with the following schedule: Saturdays 4:00P at St. Vincent and 5:00P at Blessed Sacrament. Sundays: 7:30A and 11:30A at Blessed Sacrament and 9:30A at St. Vincent. No 9:30A Mass at Blessed Sacrament.
Whether the weekend mass is at the parking lot (Drive-in) at Blessed Sacrament or in both of our churches the following are A-B-Cs you need to do:
- You are encouraged to make reservation for your attendance by calling Blessed Sacrament Rectory at 315.437.3394 during the hours of 9A – 4:00P Mondays – Fridays or e-mail at email@example.com to indicate which Mass you will attend and how many people in your reservation.
- Arrive at your scheduled Mass at least 20 minutes before, so that you have the time to be shown where to park your car (for the parking-lot mass) or which pew to sit (for the in-church mass).
- To maintained social distance for in-church Masses, pews will be marked clearly where one will be assigned. Sit and remain where you are assigned.
- All the time you are in church, you are supposed to wear your facemask for your protection and protection of everyone in the congregation. The only time you will take out your facemask is when you receive the Holy Communion.
- Holy Communion will only be distributed in the hand. If you want to receive on the tongue, plan to come at the end of communion.
- All people who plan to receive Holy Communion will come to the center AISLE (no waiting) the six-feet mark. After the receiving Holy Communion, one will go back to the pew using side aisles.
- Whether before or after Mass, socialization are discouraged both in church and outside church.
- You are encouraged to bring your personal hand sanitizer when you come in church though there are stations with hand sanitizer placed in church.
- For the parking lot Mass at Blessed Sacrament, enter into the parking lot from James Street and exit the parking lot through Tyson Pl
- For the in-church Masses there is only one entrance in each of our churches. The main entrance/door at St. Vincent De Paul is facing Vine Street while at Blessed Sacrament is facing James Street. It at the main door that you will be able to meet ushers to direct you where to sit.
- At the end of Masses, you may exit through main doors and side doors.
- COLLECTION: No collection baskets will be passed in pews during collection. Plan to drop your Sunday collection (envelope) in a collection box as you walk into the church. Ushers will direct you to where to drop it.
- After Mass, plan to leave the church building so that the cleaning crew will be able to clean and disinfect the church in timely manner to make the space ready for another group.
I am sorry for these long A, B, Cs. I thought that we all need to know protocols to observe in our churches for our safety as we participate in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
May God grant us all strength and wisdom to work together as we create safe environment to worship and let’s all continue to pray for the end of this pandemic.
I look forward to seeing you in church and if you have any question contact our parish offices.
In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Severine P. Yagaza