Mass with Social Distancing
Mass Times: Mass will be offered at our usual Mass times on Saturday at 4:00 PM and on Sunday at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 AM. As with last weekend, we ask that you do not begin to enter the Church more than 30 minutes before the beginning of Mass. This is to allow time for the church to empty and be sanitized in between liturgies. Please resist the temptation to congregate and socialize outside of the church before and after mass.
Social Distancing: As per the direction of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and the State of Louisiana, we will celebrate Mass with social distancing. Every family or individual must be at least six feet away from the next family or person. This will cause some constraints on the number of people who can attend any one Mass.
The following guidelines are the result of the best-collected wisdom and are agreed upon by the civil authorities, the leadership of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, and the staff here at Christ the Redeemer. Our intention is to keep all who are involved safe and to do our fair share to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. These precautions will be taken very seriously.
All must wear a facemask for the duration of the liturgy except when receiving communion. We will have an extremely limited number of masks for those who forget. However, you should not count on these being available because once we are out; people who arrive after will be asked to remain in their vehicles. Please bring a mask for your face. As there should be no physical contact between guests not living in the same household, please resist the temptation to socialize closely or to linger after the Mass.
Seating and Overflow: Because of the practical constraints and limitation of time, seating for our Masses will be first come, first serve. Our maximum capacity is limited by social distancing. Once the church cannot hold any more people or families. There will be an overflow Mass celebrated in the Family Center.
In order to be efficient with our use of space in the church so that everyone who wants to attend Mass this weekend can, I make two requests. Families should sit together in the pews filling them in from pews closest to the altar to those farthest from the altar. This will allow other families to know exactly what spaces are left. We will put out chairs against the back walls of the Church spaced six feet apart. I ask parishioners attending Mass by themselves to fill in these chairs first from the outsides in.
Communion: For communion, we must maintain the six-foot distance. The flow for communion will be slightly different to accommodate the distancing, and it will be demonstrated before communion starts. Essentially, two ministers will be distributing communion to alternating sections of pews. We will distribute in such a way that now two sections of pews will be in the same aisle at the same time. Each family or individual must remain six feet away from the next during communion as well.
Collection: There will be a stationary collection basket located near the altar. You may use it to drop off your donation. Please be cautious to maintain the six-foot distance as you do this.
After Mass: When exiting the church, we also must maintain the distancing; so, it will be easiest for us to exit if those farthest from the altar to those closest to the altar. Particularly for the earlier Sunday morning Mass, there will be a limited amount of time to empty the church for it to be resanitized and ready for the next Mass. Please be mindful of those who will be using the church after you by exiting the church safely but quickly after the Mass is finished.
Those who Should not attend: In order not to put yourself or others at risk, if you are sick, immunodeficient, or care for some who is, it is strongly encouraged that you participate in Mass either with our live feed at 11:00 AM or with Bishop Fabre on HTV at 9:00 AM.
For those not attending: The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday remains lifted. Therefore, if you cannot or chose not to attend Sunday Mass for any reasoning you will not be sinning. There is no shame in choosing not to attend Mass if you are vulnerable, are caring for someone who is, are caring for young children for whom the distancing will be difficult, are concerned about getting sick, or for any other reason. Please take this time to sanctify your week in some other fashion until life returns to normal.
Live Streaming: Bishop Fabre has asked that we continue to stream our Masses as we have. So, Sunday Mass will be live on Facebook at 11:00 AM. Daily Mass during the week will be at 7:30 AM and on Saturday at 8:30 AM.
Daily Mass: I am most excited about restarting public Daily Mass. Beginning on Monday, May 18 we will begin having public daily Mass at 7:30 AM. Please do not arrive for Mass more than 30 minutes before the beginning of Mass. Our daily Masses are still subject to the kind of social distancing guidelines as Sunday Mass.
Confession: The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on Saturdays from 12:00 - 3:00 PM.
Adoration: Our adoration chapel is open. For now, it will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. The chapel must be used in such a way that the appropriate distancing can be maintained. We have arranged the chairs such that each chair is six feet from the next. Therefore I ask us to consider the following when visiting the chapel: Please do not rearrange or move the chairs in the adoration chapel for the time being. If the chapel is already full please either wait at the St. Jude shrine, in your vehicle, or in the church. Once you are in the chapel you must wear a face mask. There will be sanitizing wipes and spray available for you to sanitize your chair when you enter and leave the chapel. Once you are in the chapel please be mindful that there may be others waiting to get in the chapel.
Fr. Alex Gaudet
More Resources for Mass with Social Distancing: