St. Mary, Our Lady of the Snows

Mass During COVID-19

Welcome those of you who will be returning for Mass at St. Mary Church!

The Safety and well-being of our parishioners is our top priority during our liturgies so that people may be fed the Bread of Life.  Our first consideration must continue to be for the spiritual and physical health of our parishioners, especially the most vulnerable: the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. We continue to rely on medical professionals and governmental standards to inform these directives. 

The protocols listed below have been formulated by the staff at St. Mary Church and guided by the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Governor’s office, the CDC, and the MDHSS. It is up to us as a community to work together so that liturgies may continue in the safest manner possible. We appreciate your willingness to abide by the following guidelines and we look forward to worshiping together!
 

MASS ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES

1. Face masks are required by all who are entering the Church, except for those small children who will keep taking the mask off anyway. Please wear your mask from the time that you leave your car until you return to it after Mass. Also make sure and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the Church. Hand sanitizer is available at the church entrances.

2. There will only be two entrances to the building, the main doors and the Garden Lobby doors near the social hall. The bathrooms near the main entrance will be open, but please refrain from using them unless you must. The social hall and bathrooms will not be open to the public.

3. In order to maintain social distancing, there is a limited amount of seating. While we are not reserving seats or using tickets, we do want you to sign up early through Eventbrite or by calling so that you know that seats are available. Eventbrite will alert you to a full church if you sign in too late.

4. As you enter the main church, we will be seating people from the front to the back and from the middle of the pews to the sides. Please follow the ushers’ instructions, as they will be helping people to maintain social distancing of six feet. No one will be able to sit at the very end of the pews to maintain this distance, so when you arrive at an open pew, you will see markers between which you can be seated. There is also a tape with measurements in feet so that as a single person or as a family you can determine that you are six feet from the others in your row. Pews will be roped off where you may not sit. The annex area has chairs that can be moved together if you are more than a family of three. Some people may sit or stand in the vestibules as long as social distance is maintained. If we reach our limited capacity, we may have to invite you to a weekday Mass or a future Sunday Mass.

5. Please do not arrive more than fifteen minutes before Mass.
 

DURING MASS

6. Before Mass we will be making announcements about the distribution of Communion. Consult the video for a demonstration.

7. Keep your face mask on throughout the Mass, except while receiving communion.

8. Because we will be wearing masks, singing will be at a minimum. Songbooks have been removed from the pews and chairs.

9. While we will have one lector, one Eucharistic minister or our deacon and our music minister serving us, there will be no altar servers.

10. We will not have a procession with the gifts of bread and wine and we will not pass baskets for the collection. However, you can deposit your offering at the receptacles on the offertory table or outside of the Garden Lobby entrance to the Church. You can also consider offering online. See the website for details.

11. We will not hold hands during the Our Father and there will be no sign of peace.
 

DISTRIBUTION OF COMMUNION

12. Please use hand sanitizer if you have some in your possession before communion.

13. Approach the altar area by taking a marked spot in a semicircle around the altar from the middle aisle and the two far side aisles. Keep a distance of six feet from each other as you approach the altar. The deacon or Eucharistic Minister and the presiding priest will be moving along the semicircle to offer the Body of Christ. The precious Blood will not be offered. It is preferred that you receive in the hand. Receiving the Body of Christ on the tongue is not available at this time. When you receive on your hand after saying “Amen,” lower your mask to receive the Host, raise your mask and return to your seat. As people exit from a spot then next in line should take that spot, as we move around the semicircle distributing communion. You may consult the video for this demonstration.

DEPARTURE

14. We will depart from the back of the Church to the front. As you leave, you can pick up a bulletin from an usher who will be wearing plastic gloves. Bulletins will not be offered before the beginning of Mass. Exit through the same doors that you entered. Keep a social distance as you depart. We cannot allow people congregating in the lobbies, so please exit the building. If you wish to speak with fellow parishioners, please do so well away from the walkways to the entrances. Keep your masks on until you return to your cars.


CAPACITY

15. According to current guidelines we can have no more than 50% of our capacity attend a liturgy.  Currently, our attendance capacity for Mass is 155 people.