***** Starting Monday, January 24, 2022, Mask Coverings are required to attend church.
Reopening St. Marcus Catholic Church for Sunday Masses Overarching Principles
• Recommendations from the CDC, MDH and the Governor’s Office will be adhered to as closely as is possible.
• Upholding the dignity of the liturgy will remain a focus as we prepare our celebrations.
• If individuals are feeling ill, they must stay home.
• No more than 50% capacity
Preparing our Space ❖ Entrances
✓ Hand sanitizer is available upon entering and exiting the church.
✓ Gatherings of people in gathering spaces will be discouraged.
✓ Holy Water fonts are empty.
✓ One door to the back-parking lot will be propped open
✓ Pews are marked for seating.
✓ Physical distancing of six (6) feet will be maintained, except for members of the same household.
✓ Members of the liturgical assembly may choose to wear face coverings. These must be removed before the reception of Holy Communion.
Ministers ❖ Priests
✓ If the priest has a respiratory illness Mass will be cancelled. Cancellations will be posted on the website and on the doors of the Church ✓ The celebrant and other ministers will not wear face coverings or gloves during the celebration of the Mass, except (optionally) during the distribution of Holy Communion.
✓ The celebrant will sanitize his hands before and after each Mass.
✓ There will not be altar servers at this time.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
✓ All Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must sanitize hands before and after the distribution of Holy Communion.
✓ Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may wear face coverings during the distribution of Holy Communion if the desire to do so. ❖ Ushers ✓ Will not shake hands or offer an embrace to those gathering.
✓ All Ushers must sanitize their hands before and after Mass.
✓ Encourage the use of hand sanitizer when people enter or exit the church.
✓ Ushers will monitor place collection basket on a table near the entrance and monitor it as people place their offering.
✓ Ushers will seat people in the pews – must maintain physical distancing of six (6) feet.
✓ Assist with indicating when people would enter the procession for the reception of Holy Communion.
✓ Ushers will dismiss the people from the pews at the conclusion of Mass much like at a wedding.
✓ Ushers will monitor the gathering area and discourage socializing and gathering
✓ Sacristans may set up for Mass as usual.
✓ All Sacristans must sanitize their hands before and after handling any vessels, vestments, etc.
✓ Will continue to proclaim the Word of God from the ambo.
✓ Lector will sanitize their hands before and after Mass.
✓ Books and resources for the Lector to review before Mass will be placed on a table outside the sacristy.
✓ Instrumental music and music sung only by the cantor or presider will be done
Order of Mass ❖ Mass parts
✓ The adapted norms for the celebration of the Holy Mass as outlined by the Bishop in his letter to pastors dated May 8th will be followed.
✓ There will be one person distributing Holy Communion. Either the priest or his designee
✓ There will be one communion line.
✓ If people are wearing a face covering, they will remove it and leave it in their pew until they have returned from receiving Holy communion at that time they may put it make on.
✓ People will come forward from back to front down the center aisle. This ensures that people will not have to pass near each other with center of the pews blocked off. The communicant will make a full circle around the Church and back to their original pew. The side aisles will then be dismissed by the Ushers they will proceed down the side aisle to the back of the Church and up the center aisle for reception and then return to their pew.
✓ X’s will be placed on the floor in the center aisle to assist people in maintaining distancing.
Funerals, Wakes, and Visitations
• Funerals are limited to 75 persons at this time.
• All guidelines for Sunday Masses are to be followed with funerals
• If the wake or visitation happens at the church funeral homes are responsible for sanitizing all common surfaces in the utilized area after the visitation or wake.
• Due to a lack of volunteers, following the Funeral Mass or Funeral Liturgy the funeral home is required to assist parish staff in sanitizing all exposed common surfaces
• In as much as possible, families are advised to check with the parish office prior to hiring a funeral home as not all funeral homes have been willing to assist in following and implementing basic safety guidelines. Additional Requirements/Recommendations
✓ Only one entrance will be utilized to monitor amount of people and to limit contact points the parking lot door into the gathering area. ✓ Signs will be placed on other doors
✓ Hymnals and misalettes are removed from the church.
✓ Sanitation of Ambo, utilized pews, hand rails, elevator buttons, and bathroom sink handles will take place after Mass. It will be done by one or two volunteers and/or parish staff or the ushers.
✓ Drinking fountain is closed.
✓ Bathroom doors will be propped open. Privacy is not compromised here by doing this. “Hwy 24 bathrooms” are closed.
✓ Social Hall, Side Chapel, Classrooms, and Offices have signs posted indicating that these areas are closed
✓ Congregating of people either before or after Mass will be discouraged.
Rules for Personal Prayer at St. Marcus and St Lawrence
Personal Prayer time including Adoration of the Blessed sacrament will be available on Wednesdays at St Marcus from 9am-11am. If more time is needed, we will adjust.
If you are feeling sick or are exhibiting symptoms you MUST NOT come into the church for personal prayer.
No one may enter the Church before 9 am except for staff and the ‘church monitor’
No more than 8 or 9 people will be permitted in the Church for prayer This includes Father and the ‘church monitor.’ The ‘church monitor’ (A volunteer or Fr Joe) will monitor how many people can be inside the Church buildings. If a line forms outside please maintain 6 ft distances.
If a line does form the church monitor will make an announcement so that those in church may make charitable decisions about how long they remain to pray inside.
You may only pray in the main body of the church. Small chapels, social halls, sacristy’s classrooms, drinking fountain, the Hwy 24 entry way and the offices remain closed.
Personal prayer is only permitted in designated pews. Please be aware that you may not be able to pray in your favorite spot.
You must be wearing a mask to enter the Church
You must wash your hands before and after prayer bathrooms will be open
Doors will be propped open please do not touch them unless for an authentic situation
Avoid using the elevator if possible.