Covid-19 Parish Guidelines for Liturgies

Dear Friends,

I met with a group of leaders from both parishes last week asking for their thoughts on Covid-19 parish liturgy guidelines. They were excellent help. Since Omaha now has the mask mandate, it seems the Lord has had a hand in the timing. The goal of re-publishing and posting these guidelines is to help all of us be more vigilant, know what is expected, and hopefully help those who don’t feel safe to know that the church is the cleanest, safest, public place in town.  

In Christ,
Fr. Jeff Lorig


Before Coming

  • Check your temperature:  if you have one, please do not come to church.
  • Stay home if you are ill or have any of the following symptoms:  sore throat, new cough, new shortness of breath, body aches, headache, or new loss of taste or smell.  
  • Please also stay home if in the last 14 days you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Entering the Church

  • Masks are required in the church.
  • Sanitize your hands as you enter.

Seating

  • 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties/households.
  • Please avoid pews that have been closed or roped off.

Music

  • Hymnals and other handouts that would normally be shared will not be used.
  • While music is encouraged, it will be limited.
  • The Mass parts: the Gloria, Responsorial Psalm, Alleluia, Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamation, and Lamb of God will be recited not sung.
  • Hymns for Opening, Offertory, Communion, and Closing will be short and should be ones that would encourage the congregation to “sing from the heart” rather than the mouth. In other words, musicians will use hymns that are somewhat unfamiliar to the congregation.
  • Cantors should wear masks unless they are much greater than 6 feet from each other and congregants.

Lectors

  • There will be one lector for each Mass.
  • They are to read the petitions if no deacon is present.

Servers

  • Servers will not be used unless absolutely needed to assist the priest.

Communion

  • Those distributing communion will wear masks. They will sanitize their hands after receiving communion themselves, not before.
  • Communicants are encouraged to sanitize their hands before coming forward.
  • For communion time, we will create 2 single file lines in the outside aisles while maintaining our social distancing.
  • When returning down the center aisle, create two single file lines while doing your best to keep the six feet of social distancing.  
  • Communion will be distributed on the hand.  
  • Communicants should raise/lower their mask briefly when placing the host in their mouth, then immediately replace/reposition their mask.

Exiting

  • Take your time when exiting to maintain social distancing.
  • There should be minimal visiting and chatting inside the Church.

Ushers

  • The long-handled collection baskets will be stationed at the front of the church for the ushers prior to Mass.
  • Collection money will be emptied at the front of the church into one basket.

Sanitization of Church

  • The church is sanitized after each Mass using novel coronavirus-approved disinfectant/virucide on high-touch surfaces.
  • Those who pray in the church outside of regular Mass times, such as those participating in Perpetual Adoration, will be responsible for sanitizing their pew after their prayer time. Sanitization wipes will be provided by the parish to be used to clean the high-touch surfaces in the area where they sat or knelt.

Reevaluate

  • The committee will review these guidelines by the 1st Sunday of Advent (November 29, 2020) and make adjustments as needed.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”

Romans 12:12