DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY AT FATHER SCOTT’S CHURCHES TO PRESERVE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL
First, we thank God that, until now, there had been no cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maryland. Currently, however, three cases have been reported in Montgomery County and a State of Emergency has been ordered by Governor Larry Hogan as of March 5, 2020. Because of the anticipated rapid spread of the virus and in accordance with statements published by the ADW and Archdioceses around the country regarding the virus, the following 10 behaviors have been adopted for Father Scott’s churches to assist with the preservation of the health and safety of the parishioners, particularly at Mass:
- Do not come to Mass if you have any signs of a cold or a virus; a special dispensation is given to people who are sick for any reason to attend Mass. This dispensation applies in the case of any possibly contagious disease, even a common cold.
- Use a tissue or the inside of your arm to cover mouth when coughing or sneezing; then dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands.
- Wash frequently and thoroughly the back and front of hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available and rub your hands thoroughly; avoid putting your hands on your face.
- Avoid handshaking, touching, and hugging inside and outside of church.
- Note that the Sign of the Peace is suspended at Mass.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY AT ST. CECILIA TO PRESERVE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL
- Note that the Blood of Christ will only be available via Intinction (Body dipped in the Blood of Christ).
- Understand that Catholics are not obliged to receive the Blood of Christ at all during communion (although it gives us a fuller sign of receiving holy communion), but we receive the fullness of Jesus in holy communion in the form of the host even when it is presented alone.
- Get in one of two lines during Communion: Father Scott’s line or the Eucharistic Minister’s line. Father Scott’s line will consist of only those who will be receiving both the Body and Blood of Christ via Intinction. The EM’s line will consist of only those who will be receiving only the Body of Christ.
- Note that Holy Water will not be present in the fonts at Mass in an effort to avoid the possibility of spreading germs from hands.
- Pray as a family for a cure; pray for those afflicted with the virus; ask to be spared from the virus.
Parishioners are encouraged to frequently monitor the status of the virus and flu with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and adherence to these changes in the traditions and procedures at Mass.
Your Brother and Father in Christ,
Father Scott Woods