St. John Catholic Church to Resume Public Masses
Hello St. John Faith Community!
As per the announcement from the Most Reverend, Anthony B. Taylor, Bishop of Little Rock, St. John Catholic Church will resume the celebration of public Masses on the weekend of May 16th and 17th. There are specific restrictions and instructions that are being implemented by Bishop Taylor at all parishes. Some people may still not be able to attend Mass under the current conditions, so Bishop Taylor’s dispensation of everyone from the Sunday Mass obligation remains in effect until further notice.
If you attend a public Mass at St. John Catholic Church, you must abide by these rules:
If you are running a fever or exhibiting any of the signs of COVID-19 or other contagious illnesses, do NOT come to Mass.
If you are in an at-risk age group or health group of the following, we ask you to consider NOT coming to Mass.
The risk groups that are at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 are those over 65 year of age, those with chronic or immunosuppressed conditions at any age, such as diabetes, cancer, cancer survivor, COPD, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity and heart disease.
If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, do NOT come to Mass.
Upon arriving at church: Do not congregate outside your vehicles. Exit your vehicle swiftly and move quickly towards the check-in table in front of the church. Do not stop to greet or approach other parishioners. Please maintain social distancing guidelines while in the parking lot.
You must stay a distance of 6 feet away from other people at all times (You can, of course, be within 6 feet of your immediate family/household) including while sitting in pews and while in line for Communion.
Your Immediate family/household constitutes the people currently living in your house. If your grandparents, parents, children, siblings, or relatives do not live in the same house as you, do not sit with them during Mass.
If sitting in one of the center rows, you must leave at least a 3 feet space, in the pew, between you and the center aisle of the church.
The number of people admitted to Mass will be limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy of the Nave of the church, in order to maintain the required 6 feet of physical distancing between family groups or individuals. The Nave of our church, operating at a 25% occupancy, can hold 125 people per Mass.
You must follow directions of all church staff and officials while attending Mass. If an usher or personnel authorized by Father Sidler, asks you to move pews or other relative tasks, you must do so. Directions given by these individuals are in the best interest of your health and safety.
All participants, including children over 10 years of age, must wear masks or other covering of their mouth and nose. All participants must wear their masks throughout the entire Mass, except at the specified time below.
Once you reach the front of the communion line, you may remove your mask long enough to receive the Eucharist in your hand; eating the consecrated host immediately. Afterward, but before walking back to your pew, you must cover your face with your mask again.
All participants must use hand sanitizer upon arrival at the check-in table before the start of Mass.
No holding hands at Lord’s Prayer.
No handshake or other sign of peace that involves physical contact. Please make a simple bow at the waist, towards those around you. The sign of peace is optional, so the invitation of the faithful to exchange a sign of peace can be omitted if the priest so desires.
No Precious Blood for the congregation.
No Communion on the tongue; those who are unwilling to receive on the hand make a Spiritual Communion instead. While some may view Communion on the tongue to be a “right,” these are extraordinary times and attention to the common good takes precedence over personal preference. The only exception is those who attend the traditional Latin Mass for whom reception on the hands is not an option.
When it is one’s turn to receive, the communicant should lower their mask briefly, extend their ungloved hands, one on top of the other, receive the host which is “dropped” carefully without touch into your waiting hand, place the host in your mouth and then raise their mask before returning to their pew. Communion cannot be distributed with gloves, nor be received by a member of the faithful if they are wearing gloves--the risk of mishaps with the Eucharist is too great. Ungloved sanitized hands will be used.
No one comes forward for a blessing in lieu of Communion, all are blessed together at the end of Mass.
There will be no extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist needed at this time.
There will be no altar servers needed at this time.
A collection basket will be placed at the entrance of the nave, in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue, where the entrance processional normally begins.
Paper bulletins will not be distributed. Please check our website for a digital edition: www.SaintJohnRussellville.org
Maintain 6’ distancing in the exit line as people leave Mass. Please proceed directly to your vehicle in order to avoid crowding at the exit.
Below are steps our priest/deacon will take to be safe at Mass:
The priest/deacon will maintain 12 feet physical distance from the congregation—as stipulated by Governor Hutchinson—unless he is distributing Communion.
The priest/deacon does not have to wear a mask except when distributing Holy Communion.
The priest/deacon will not greet people before or after Mass.
No priest or deacon in a risk group will distribute Communion unless there is no alternative.
Since our church is operating at 25% of our total occupancy (of the nave), we will be offering additional Masses during the weekend.
The COVID-19 Mass Schedule is as follows:
10:00 AM Mass - English … live from St. John Catholic Church
1:00 PM Mass - bilingual … live from St. Andrew Catholic Church
*the bilingual mass will be shared on St. John’s Facebook page for easy access.
RSVP Mass Sign-up Form:
Attached below is a Google Form, asking your preference of the Mass you plan on attending. Please fill out this form, so our parish can better prepare for the weeks ahead.
English Version: https://forms.gle/EQAThrtULVXom9m18
Versión en español: https://forms.gle/NSPHUWP5Zbc8WMMV8
During the weekend of May 16th & 17th, if more than the 25% allowed occupancy shows up to a Mass, then the additional people will be ushered to the Parish Hall for viewing Mass via a live-stream video. Communion will be offered to those people in the Parish Hall. After that weekend, if additional people show up for a Mass, they will have to be turned away for the safety of all worshipers.