St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Church : Reopening church for Holy Qurbana
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
The Parish Council met Tuesday, June 16, 2020 virtually to discuss opening our church for Holy Qurbana. We are cautiously going to open church for Holy Qurbana starting Wednesday, July 1, 2020 based on the CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/faith-based.html). Please continue to check for updates and communications from the parish. Please do your best to be flexible, in that we will have some changes to the normal practice of how we have Holy Qurbana.
I want to stress that I am discouraging people from coming in who are older, those who have health issues that would make them more susceptible to serious illness effects, and those who are currently feeling any form of illness, or if you are a caretaker for people in such situations. As a reminder, we are all still exempted from the obligation for attending Sunday Holy Qurbana.
Here is what we are planning for those who plan to come to church, in order to keep the 6 ft. social distancing guidelines. Please read it over so that you will get an idea of what we are planning to ensure safety for each of you.
Effective July 1, 2020 following will be the revised Holy Qurbana schedule:
a. Sundays 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Holy Qurbana will be livestreamed)
b. Saturday 9:00 a.m. (the Holy Qurbana will be livestreamed
c. Monday- Friday: Holy Qurbana will be at 7:00 p.m. and there will be no livestreaming of Holy Qurbana during weekdays.
Only 50 people will be allowed inside the church (25% capacity) for each Sunday Holy Qurbana or Holy Days of Obligation. This include choir members, people who assist with live-streaming, and altar servers. On other days, I don’t expect more than 50 people attending the Holy Qurbana and in case more than 50 people show up – only the first 50 will be seated.
Please use face mask while in church and all times. No one will be allowed to enter the church without a face mask.
Ward members will be contacting you to see if you are interested to attend the Holy Qurbana on Sundays and for which one. You must let the ward members know (including choir members and altar servers) your intention to attend the Sunday Holy Qurbana by Thursday 8:00 p.m.
If you are not registered with ward members to attend, you are not allowed to enter the church.
Those who registered and plan to attend must enter church at least 15 minutes early to be seated by the ushers. Everyone who plans to attend, must, sign your name at the front desk before entering the church.
Sanitizing – Upon entering the Church, each person should sanitize their hands either at the station within the church entrance or with personal sanitizer. The Church pews will be sanitized in between Holy Qurbanas.
No Holy Qurbana Books in the Pews- The Qurbana books have been removed from pews due to the difficulty in sanitizing them. Please access the digital version of the Holy Qurbana book to follow along with the liturgy.
Cars must be parked in alternate parking spaces to ensure social distancing
People who come to church must leave church compound immediately. No social gathering or congregation is allowed.
Alternate pews are marked not to sit in.
Family units need to sit 6 feet from the next family unit. (A family unit is considered those who live together in a household. It may be 1 person, 2 persons, or a family with several children.)
Those who enter the church first occupy the first available pew at the front of the church and this way it can limit the direct interaction (please don’t occupy pews in random).
Communion will be given at the end of Holy Qurbana. To receive Holy Communion, there will be only one line – we will start with the one side of pews first, when one side of pews receives Holy Communion, I will call the other side – when coming forward to receive Communion, please have 6 feet distance and keep the face mask. Face mask must be removed only when approaching the priest and Communion must be received in your hands and consumed and then put the mask back before you walk out. Once you receive Holy Communion, I request you quietly leave the church.
Collection basket will be set at the back of the church, if anyone want to put offertory please use the basket at the entrance.
Please don’t use other rooms or hall – Church need to be sanitized after the Holy Qurbana and it would be helpful if we limit the use to what is absolutely needed.
If any non-registered member wishes to attend the Holy Qurbana, they should sign-up by asking one of the registered members of the parish.
If there is any sacramental or liturgical celebrations requested by a parish member (Baptism, Holy Communion, Marriage, Memorial Mass, Office of the Deceased etc), it is the responsibility of the parish member who requested the ceremony to ensure proper safety and safeguards while at church. The person who requested the ceremony must submit a list of attendees to the Vicar and Trustees at least two days prior to the event.
Those who are not able to attend Holy Qurbana on Sundays can come to church after the Holy Qurbana may contact me ahead of time for distribution of Holy Communion.
We ask God to continue blessing us as we live our lives with love for Him. May our decisions, our hopes, and our actions reflect His Will, here in the slow re-opening of Holy Qurbana attendance, and in every aspect of our individual lives.