Father Dennis has recorded two videos detailing what to expect at Mass on Sunday, May 31 when we are able to have public Mass again. Be sure to watch them below!
Video one - Wednesday, May 20th
Video two - Friday, May 29th
Video one - Wednesday, May 20th
Video two - Friday, May 29th
Most Holy Trinity Parish Directives for Restarting Public Liturgies
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This has been a difficult time for all of us. I sure miss seeing everyone at Mass and I’m sure that we also miss one another.
The good news is we will be celebrating Liturgies in public starting the weekend of May 30/31st.. However, for the time being, Mass will look a little different. Of course one of the major realities is we will not all be able to attend Mass together at this time. I am publishing some guidelines that will help us to do this as smoothly as possible. I’m sure we will be revising some of the guidelines as we move ahead. One of the overriding principles is that I want to do everything possible to ensure that we are all safe.
We will all be required to make some personal sacrifices in order to participate, so we are asking for your patience and understanding. In the Diocesan Guidelines for reopening public Mass, Bishop Boyea said, “Love of neighbor must guide our behavior even more than a desire to be at Mass.”
What will Masses look like?
First of all, I want to say that we will continue to live stream the Masses. We want to make the Mass available to all, even if we can participate only through social media.
When will Mass be offered?
We will offer two Masses on Sundays, at 8:30 and 10:30 am. Our daily Masses on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Masses will be at 9:00 am. Masses on Monday and Wednesday will return to 7:00 pm. This is not a permanent change, just an adjustment for the time being. Eventually we will return to our regular Mass times when it is appropriate.
There will be a sign up for Mass attendance. In order to maintain safe social distance during Mass, we are only able to have 25 households (individuals or families who live in the same home) attend Mass. We ask that you only sign up for one Mass a week. We also ask that over the course of a month you only sign up for one Sunday Mass. This will allow, given the restriction of numbers allowed in church, everyone a chance to attend a Mass publicly. The Bishop has dispensed the faithful from attending Sunday Mass for the time being, so this will make it possible for as many of our parishioners to attend a Mass.
We have set up a link on our website through Signup Genius. If you do not have a computer, you can call the parish office to reserve space for your household.
I want to begin offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation again. Saturday afternoon confessions will begin on Saturday, May 30th at 3:30 pm. I am working on having other times for confession as well. Because of social distancing confessions will be heard behind the screen.
Some important directions
People who feel sick or have any symptoms of sickness (fever, cough, etc.) must not attend. I would like to emphasize that if you are elderly or have a compromised immune system, or any medical conditions that make you at risk for COVID-19 (link to CDC definition of “at risk” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html), you should not be attending Mass. You can watch Mass online.
Families with children under seven, as they may find it difficult to follow social distancing rules, may want to consider not bringing them. We understand that it may not be possible with limited access to babysitters at this time, so we leave that to your discretion. Parents with nursing infants would always be welcome.
We ask you to wear a mask at Church. This is an act of charity since we are trying to be considerate of others and minimize any risk of passing on the virus.
We are also asking you to bring hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes to sanitize the pew area where you and your family will sit and kneel. The parish may not have time to do a thorough cleaning between Masses.
A Final Word
I know that all of this appears to be a lot, and to be honest, it is. But for the time being, this is what we need to do so that we minimize the chance of passing on the virus to another person. I want to share this with you as we wait for the full restoration of our liturgies and the Sacramental life.
During the time of Fatima, the world was experiencing another pandemic, the Spanish Flu, which killed millions. During that time churches were closed, just like today.
In fact, one of the visionaries, Jacinta Marto died alone. Her family and well-wishers couldn’t be with her because a pandemic was imposing restrictions worldwide. The one thing she wanted before she died was the Eucharist, but even that was denied her. If that sounds familiar, it should. One of the other visionaries, her brother Francesco died of the flu as well.
In February of 2020, exactly 100 years after Jacinta’s death in February of 1920 during the Spanish Flu pandemic, the coronavirus started to hit the news in the West.
Pope Francis canonized the two siblings in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of that message. He said at their canonization: “With the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta, I wanted to propose to the entire Church their example. After the encounter with the Beautiful Lady, as they called her, they frequently recited the Rosary, did penance and offered sacrifices to bring about the end of the War, and for the souls most in need of divine mercy.”
So I share this with you because I am asking you, as your pastor, to embrace the sacrifices and offer them up for the salvation of souls. Let us not complain, but freely and joyfully offer up this difficult time for our own growth in holiness.
God bless, Fr. Dennis
The Order of Mass
Please arrive early
It will take time to check people in and ensure social distancing so please expect for things to take longer than usual. We encourage you to arrive early to help with the seating process. Ushers will help direct you to your seat and dismiss you for Communion.
Holy Water fonts
There will not be holy water in the fonts.
Singing during Mass
Due to the increased risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19 caused by singing, there will not be congregational singing during Mass. There will be music and a cantor to sing on behalf of the congregation.
The hymn books have been removed so that we do not inadvertently pass on anything to others. We will also be removing the children’s books at the entrances – so please bring your own books to Church.
The Sign of Peace will be dispensed with for the time being.
Please do not hold hands other than within your own family during the Our Father
Communion will be distributed immediately after Mass as people depart church. Father will process with the Blessed Sacrament at the concluding hymn and will distribute Holy Communion outside or if there is inclement weather at the back of church. This way the congregants will not have to go back and forth during Mass and potentially be exposed to the virus. More detailed instructions are in a consecutive image, and directions will be given at Mass.
Dismissal from Mass
Once you depart the church, we encourage you not to congregate but please go right to your vehicle.
Please maintain social distancing inside and outside the church (i.e. stay at least six feet away from anyone not in your household)
Restrooms will not be available except in cases of emergency.
Sts. Francisco and Jacinta, Pray for us.