What Will Mass Be Like When We Reopen?

COVID-19 Update 5/8/20: Mindful of the current circumstances and to continue efforts to protect the common good, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has extended its suspension of ALL public Masses and other liturgical and devotional services through May 28, 2020. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains through June 30.

Bishop Walkowiak’s 5/8/20 letter to the Faithful.

While we do not have a certain date, the diocese is providing guidance to parishes to begin planning how to safely resume public Masses. This will need to be done in phases, with modifications in our surroundings and some liturgical practices. Full details are in the Bishop’s letter.
Following is the guidance overview:
  • Limited Attendance: To maintain a safe attendance capacity, there will need to be fewer people at each Mass. This means that parishioners may be unable to attend as often or at their preferred Mass time. If you are able, consider attending a weekday Mass to allow those with less flexibility to attend weekend Masses.
  • Social Distancing will be practiced: Parishioners should follow the guidance of any usher or posted sign and can expect for rows/pews to be roped off.
  • Masks/Face Coverings will be required: Everyone, including children two and older, will need to bring and wear their own appropriate face covering to attend Mass.
  • Liturgical Differences: Physical greetings/shaking hands during the Sign of Peace/ joining hands during the Lord’s Prayer will be omitted. Temporary suspension of the distribution of the Precious Blood remains in effect. Holy Communion may not be received in the hand if you are wearing gloves.
  • Extra Sanitization Practices Implemented:. Ushers or a group of volunteers will be wiping down/sanitizing frequently touched surfaces between Masses. Hand sanitizer will be available for parishioner use, but you are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer.
  • Anyone who is sick or has recently been exposed to the coronavirus should refrain from attending a public Mass as it is an act of Christian charity to safeguard the health of others.
Msgr. Terry and the parish staff will be working to implement this guidance for your safety here at Holy Family, and ask that you bear with the temporary circumstances until we can gather again in full.
Please stay in touch with the parish website, social media, or online bulletin for the parish’s reopening plans.