Letter from Msgr. Rush

May 18, 2020

Blessings to you from Holy Cross.  I pray you and your family are well.

The Diocese of Richmond has approved the reopening of our parishes for limited public celebrations of the Eucharist beginning this weekend for all of our masses starting with the 5pm liturgy on Saturday, and the three on Sunday at 8am, 11am, and 2pm. We are excited to welcome you back for mass but there are many precautions we must take.

I want to bring you up to date on what our parish is planning. Below are some highlights.  For a more detailed account, go to https://richmonddiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Return-to-Mass-Guidelines-Draft-4.pdf for an executive summary from the diocese.

The following is in place for this weekend:

  • Limited attendance for each mass to 50% of our church occupancy 
  • Entrance to mass will be through the Commons entrance off the parking lot.  It is suggested that you come early to facilitate the screening and seating.  We will lock the doors 10 minutes after mass begins.
  • Required face masks must be worn by ALL parishioners over the age of 3 throughout the entirety of mass

Answering 3 health related questions upon entrance into the building by our greeters

Questions:

  1. Have you or anyone in your household had a fever in the past 2 weeks?
  2. Do you or anyone in your household have a new cough or new shortness of breath?
  3. Have you come in contact with anyone who is positive with Covid-19 in the past 2 weeks?

Should you say "Yes" to any of them, you will not be admitted.

You will then be directed and seated in the church, front to back, by ushers to ensure the required distancing.  Ushers will further assist in guiding you to Communion, one pew at a time, and in the leaving at Masses’ end.  Please work with the ushers as they direct the flow of each mass.

Communion will be distributed in the form of Bread only.  When receiving the Eucharist, lower your facial covering, receive the host, and return to your seat. The preferred reception of Communion will be in the hands as to ensure safety for all involved.

At this time social gatherings for fellowship after Mass are suspended.  The time between Masses will be used to clean and sanitize the building for the next liturgy. Parishioners are asked to vacate the church building after the recessional hymn.

We strongly recommend that those who are vulnerable refrain from attending; at least until phase 2 begins. Please note that the Bishop continues to give dispensation to all who feel uncomfortable in coming to mass.

As a parish, we here at Holy Cross take the “re-opening” of the parish seriously.  We are taking the steps to ensure we comply with diocesan guidelines with your safety being the most important thing. At this time we have a COVID 19 phase one team of parishioners in place to help manage the reopening of our parish and the maintenance of our weekly liturgies.   We continue to be concerned about our neighbor so we resume our liturgies with caution remembering those most vulnerable.

We will continue to live stream our Sunday liturgy each weekend for those unable to be present with us.

Please know that you are in my prayers and I wish you peace and good health.  May we continue to call on the intercession of St Joseph to protect us and guide us to love and be present to one another each day.

Blessings and peace,

Monsignor Ken Rush

 
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