Santa Sophia Church: Guidelines for Attending Mass

Santa Sophia Church will be celebrating Sunday Masses at 8:00 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am, beginning June 14th and Saturday 4:30 pm starting June 20th.

For a smooth flow of Mass and adherence to the state law, we have put down some guidelines that we urge you to follow. State guidelines limit the total number of participants attending Mass to 100.  This will be achieved by parishioners using the online reservation system, Eventbrite. In order to access the Eventbrite reservation, you must be subscribed to our new communication tool, called Flocknote. For those subscribed to Flocknote, the link to reserve your seat will be sent the Monday prior to the weekend, each week. You will need to select a specific weekend Mass that you wish to attend and print the reservation form. Printed reservation forms will be needed to gain entrance to the church.

Please know that if you have been receiving emails from the parish with updates about the reopening, you are already subscribed to Flocknote and will receive the invitation to reserve a seat for Mass. If you have not yet subscribed, please go to our parish website: www.santasophia.org, and subscribe as soon as possible using the link found on the homepage. All parishioners are encouraged to sign up for Flocknote as we will be communicating through this application moving forward. If you do not have internet access, please come to the Parish office during the week for help with reservations. Reservations will not be taken over the phone, by mail or text messages.

Keep in mind, Bishop McElroy continues to dispense all from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation. If you are ill or highly susceptible to illness due to age or a pre-existing medical condition, please stay home, joining the community in prayer through liturgies streamed on the Internet or broadcast on television. I request you to see the video on our website from Bishop McElroy regarding church reopening for public Masses.

HYGIENE PROTOCOLS

  • For Sunday Masses the attendees will be limited to 100 people. We will be using an online reservation system called Eventbrite to reserve seats.
  • All attendees will be required to wear face masks as they exit their vehicles in the church parking lot, and to continue wearing masks until they exit the church after Mass and return to their vehicle.
  • Face masks should be worn by all adults and children over two years old.
  • Parishioners are encouraged to carry and use hand sanitizer upon entering the church. Hand sanitizer will also be stationed in areas throughout the church.
  • The restroom facilities will be opened and monitored so as to limit the number of people entering at one time. Restroom facilities will be sanitized after each Mass.
  • Ushers will direct Mass attendees to their seats in order to maintain the six-feet social distancing mandate (Families will be seated together).
  • Bulletins will be placed outside at the kiosk for parishioners to pick up as they exit the church.
  • Mass attendees will enter and exit through the northern doors by the kiosk and nursery. Please plan on parking your cars accordingly.
  • A collection basket will be located at each door for the faithful to offer their donations. Attendees will drop envelopes or money into baskets. Baskets will not be passed around during Mass. In order to make it easier, we encourage you to sign up for egiving which is available on our website.
  • The ushers will help seat people, keeping families together and maintaining the required six feet of social distancing.
  • Pews will be cleaned and sanitized after each Mass.
  • The children’s chapel and nursery will remain closed during this time.

As You Come to Mass

  • There are no parking restrictions, but please keep in mind that there will only be two entrances to the church, which will be the two doors on the north side of the church (kiosk and nursery side).
  • Parishioners should plan to arrive 15 minutes before Mass and line up using the social distancing markers outside of each of the two doors. You must have your Eventbrite ticket with you.
  • Ushers will take your ticket, check you in at the door and direct you to another usher at one of the four seating areas inside of church.
  • Every other pew will be blocked and marked with tape, kindly do not use the marked pews.
  • Prior to the beginning of Mass, instruction will be given to the congregation detailing the flow of Mass.
  • Music will be provided by one cantor and accompanist only. Singing by the congregation is not encouraged as all will be wearing face masks.
  • We will not hold hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
  • The sign of peace will be acknowledged with a nod, a wave, or a respectful bow.

Holy Communion

  • Holy Communion will be distributed after the final blessing per Diocesan guidelines.
    • Please ensure you have all personal belongings gathered and bring them with you when you line up to receive the Eucharist.
    • Holy Communion will be distributed by section.
    • There will be one communion line, single file, with markings on the aisle to remind all to practice social distancing.
    • Families may receive Holy Communion together.
    • Devdas will be distributing communion in front of the altar; Deacon and/or Extraordinary Eucharistic minister will be distributing Communion at the break (middle of the church).
    • Masks will remain in place while in line to receive Holy Communion.
    • Communion to be received in the hand
    • Once the host is placed in the hand, please move to the designated marker, lift your mask, and consume the host.
    • Once you have consumed, please exit the church.
    • Gloves shall not be worn during distribution or receiving of the Holy Eucharist.
    • Do not congregate in or outside the church, it will help us to prepare for the next Mass.

DAILY MASS

  • Daily Mass will be celebrated at 8:00 am as usual, Monday through Friday.
  • We will follow the same guidelines as Sunday Mass.
  • Reservations will not be required for daily Mass, as daily Mass attendance is normally less than the 100-person limit required by the state.

 

We will strongly encourage people not to attend Mass if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, especially:

  • A temperature above 99F
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • New muscle aches
  • Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea
  • Recent loss of smell or taste