Our Lady of Grace Church COVID-19 Updates
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Our Lady of Grace:
Per Diocesan guidelines, Our Lady of Grace Parish will begin limited reopening of Mass gatherings starting June 8, 2020. To do so, however, specific guidelines per the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state/local authorities must be followed in order to ensure the safety of ALL the faithful at the celebration of the Eucharist.
These are just the initial phases of the gradual reopening of Parishes in our Diocese, so many other Ministry services and activities may still remain paused or altered. Our immediate focus is to safely enable our Parish Community to commune together in the celebration of Mass once again.
Sanitization is a key component of our safe reopening, so all are encouraged to volunteer to assist with not just the Liturgy of the Mass, but also the safe care of our sanitization guidelines before and after Mass.
While we are all excited to be able to see one another again and share in the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, let’s all work together to ensure that we can care for one another’s safety and continue to worship together.
Please review the following information and contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 916-371-4814 with any questions.
- The dispensation allowing all the faithful from attending Mass in person still remains in effect, despite the availability of in-person Mass, so if you are still uncomfortable attending in person, continue to worship virtually.
- Those parishioners age 65+, persons with compromised health conditions, or who may be showing symptoms of any illness are asked to continue worship virtually.
- Daily Mass will continue Mon-Fri (except Thurs) at 8:30 am at OLG Church. Weekend Mass will be offered at the OLG School gym at 5:30 pm SAT and 9:00 am and 11:00 am SUN only. Live stream of weekday and weekend Masses will continue for the benefit of those who cannot or are not comfortable to attend Mass in-person (daily Mass via GoToMeeting and Sunday Mass on www.westsacolg.org/live)
- If you choose to attend Mass in-person, there are several guidelines that must be followed, primarily:
- Social distancing and measures to limit physical contact, including one-way traffic, will be observed
- Parishioners are to wear masks during the service but remove them during Communion only. Per state and county guidelines, children 2 and under do not require mask
- Temperature Screening (at weekend masses) and Contact Tracing measures (to aid tracking any COVID exposure at our Parish) will be required, collecting only names and phone numbers of each Mass attendee
- In-person attendance capacity is limited (only 30 in the Church, and maximum 70 in OLG school gym), so an Eventbrite RSVP system will be used to monitor attendance for each weekend Mass
- Parishioners who feel uncomfortable with any of these guidelines are asked to continue to worship virtually. Likewise, those uncomfortable attending Sunday Mass with larger crowds might plan to attend less-crowded weekday Masses to still receive the Eucharist.
- For weekend Mass, ensure you have RSVP’d on Eventbrite which Mass your household will attend;
- When you arrive for Mass, please have your mask in place;
- Plan to arrive earlier to Mass than usual, to allow time for screening and check-in;
- Please note that entrance/exit flow has changed:
- Mass at Church: only front main doors used for entrance and the side doors of the church reserved for EXIT only to keep one-way traffic. (entrance via handicap access ramp is still available for those in need);
- Mass at school gym: the South Main door will be reserved for entrance only while the North Main door reserved for EXIT only;
- There will be signage posted to help with the flow of traffic;
- Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and exits, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Holy water founts will not be available at this time.
- Offerings will be collected via drop boxes next to all entrances. Donations can still bemade online at www.westsacolg.org/donate or mailed to the office.
- Avoid touching any surfaces unnecessarily in or outside church/ school grounds
- Bathrooms are NOT available during Mass
- Play structures at school should NOT be used, please ensure children are aware
- Seat yourself from the front to rear available pews, leaving no open designated seats
- Attendees living under the same roof sit together
- Mass at Church:
- Pews will be clearly marked with designated seating and distancing in each pew
- Observe social distancing when seating and keep to only these marked areas.
- The upstairs cry room will be closed for seating at this time.
- Mass at school gym:
- Sanitized chairs will be pre-placed and distanced in the gym, but as you arrive, attendees in groups may relocate nearby unoccupied chairs to sit together, observing appropriate distancing from other households
- No-printed worship materials will be provided or used during Mass; for those wishing to follow along with hymns and prayers, visit https://www.gotomeet.me/FrMathewRappu from your smart device to see Liturgy aids
- Keep masks on at all times during Mass, except when receiving the Eucharist
- We will continue to abstain from making any sign of Peace
- Communion will be brought to you in the pews/seats
- All are encouraged to receive communion only by hand
- Those who insist on receiving communion on the tongue will receive only after all those receiving by hand. Eucharistic ministers will sanitize their hands after each communion dispensed on the tongue.
- The reception of the Blood of Christ is still unavailable for parishioners at this time
- Observe social distancing as you leave Mass, following posted exit paths
- Do not leave any materials in the church pews. All items left behind will be collected and destroyed.
- For weekend Mass at the school gym, if you moved your chair for your group, put it back in its original place (stickers on the ground) so it can be sanitized before the next Mass
- If you socialize outside of the church after Mass, please continue observing social distancing protocols and avoid physical contact