Presiding at Mass by myself or preaching to the iPad for the Sunday livestream Mass was a challenge. I had many email/call me recognizing that ‘It must be hard.’ It was hard. Liturgy means “work of the people”. So, not having people present, in some way diminishes (if that is possible of God’s infinite Grace) the full expression of the Mass. Theologically, I know that whenever Mass is celebrated, I am always accompanied by all the angels and saints. In fact, I am joined with all those who have ever stood around any Mass altar in any time; for each time, we are coming into the Real Presence of the One Perfect Saving Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Yet, I admit, I’d rather have a few contemporary ‘saints in training’ present with me for Mass.
Which brings me to today. It is exciting to see members of the parish slowly return to daily and weekend Masses. I know all are rightly being cautious and concerned in deciding when or if to return in person to Mass. It is a decision that needs to be considered seriously in light of your personal situation of health and comfort level. We are doing a lot here to make your return to Holy Family a safe and spiritually fulfilling experience as we gather to pray to the Father as the Son through the Holy Spirit. And for that, it’s nice having “company” in the pews!
Thank you to those who have attended Mass for adjusting to the newly implemented Mass Protocols. Things are different, and these protocols will be here awhile. Thank you for opting to wear masks, using hand sanitizer, and sitting near the front of the church (which reduces cleaning efforts). When you come, “If you see blue, choose another pew”. On the floor of the ends of closed pews is blue tape labeled “No Entry”. All of these measures allow us to gather together safely so as to be sanctified by the Mass in Scripture and Sacrament.
Moving forward, Holy Family will no longer limit Sunday Mass attendance by Last Name. While we want to be cautious regarding the size of Mass attendance, currently, we do not seem to be approaching the reduced capacity limit (125), so I do not want to unnecessarily restrict those who would attend Mass more frequently.
Most Holy Trinity, unite us in Your Love
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries