The bishop has issued new directives for the upcoming Holy Days. The Church is very concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and so we have to make the following changes to our normal liturgical activities. I am letting you all know ahead of time so that nothing will be a surprise. However, I will remind you of any changes as they come up.
This is my very short summary of the liturgical changes over the next couple months:
- February 2nd On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas), people may bring candles to be blessed. But churches are not allowed to distribute candles.
- February 3rd On the Feast of St. Blaise and the following Sunday, we will generally bless throats at the end of Mass, not individually.
- February 17th On Ash Wednesday, ashes will be applied with a Q-Tip at the end of Mass. There will be a different Q-Tip used for each person.
- For the Friday Stations of the Cross in Lent, we cannot provide any booklets for the services. So, everyone will be expected to follow along with the stations in the pew missal.
- February 21st We will have the Rite of Election for our RCIA candidate celebrated at the Noon Mass. Normally, this is done at the Cathedral. But the bishop is delegating pastors to do it.
- March 28th Palms will be available AFTER Mass on Palm Sunday.
- April 1st For the Mass of the Lord’s Super on Holy Thursday there will be no washing of feet.
- April 2nd For Good Friday, instead of the normal veneration of the cross, it will be held up so that all people can adore the cross without coming in contact with it.
- April 3rd On Holy Saturday, any blessing of food will take place outside, and directives for the Easter Vigil will be upcoming.
Finally, the dispensation from attending Mass and Holy Days of Obligation is still in effect until further notice.
On a completely different note, the Latin Masses on the First Saturdays at 9am have gone so well and received such a positive response, that I plan to continue them. We will have to take a break from it in May because we have the First Holy Communions. But, other than that, I plan for this to be a continuing devotion in the parish.