To our Georgia Tech Catholic Center Community, +JMJ
Following the Instructions on Resumption of In-Parish Worship and Access to Parish Facilities memo sent by Archbishop Hartmeyer, we will begin the process of offering Mass here at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center, starting Tuesday, May 26.
I don’t take this process lightly, and have been following the directives given by the Archdiocese and the Thomistic Institute (Found Here). In following their recommendations and given the cooperation of the faithful, it is possible to celebrate the sacraments reverently and responsibly while mitigating the risk of spreading Covid-19. We’re deep cleaning the church, and will be sanitizing after every Mass.
As a reminder, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues until June 28th, so for those that are sick, have compromised immune systems, or are worried about the risk of spreading the virus to their families, we ask that for the sake of others you please refrain from attending Mass. This also means that those able to come to Mass can come on days other than Sunday. We will begin the normal summer schedule of daily Mass throughout the week (except on Wednesdays) at 5:30 pm, and Mass on Sunday at 5 pm and 9 pm. Confessions are still available by appointment through Signup Genius an hour before each Mass.
Here are the specific procedures we will be following:
In respecting the 6 feet required for social distancing, our maximum capacity has been greatly reduced, so first priority will be given to Georgia Tech students and affiliates for admittance. There will be ushers at the patio entrance for escorting the faithful to assigned spots. In order to maximize capacity, you won’t be able to choose your seat (although households will be able to sit together). For the time being, once we are at maximum capacity no one else will be permitted to enter the chapel. Once seated, please do not climb over others to get up from your pew, as it would not be safe to do so.
There will be only one entrance/exit used directly into and out of the main chapel through the patio, guided by the ushers. All other doors will not be accessible. The lobby will be closed, with the exception of a bathroom for emergency purposes.
Everyone will be required to wear a mask, (please bring your own mask) and is encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.
The sign of peace will be omitted.
Following the suggestions of the Thomistic Institute, the distribution of Holy Communion will be at the end of Mass after the final blessing (see this link or scroll down for specific details). Please maintain social distancing while approaching the altar for communion, and do not wear gloves while receiving communion. After an opportunity for a brief prayer of thanksgiving, we will ask everyone to leave the chapel so it can be cleaned in between Masses.
There will be baskets at the entrance/exit of the chapel for offerings.
We will be re-evaluating these procedures and logistics after the first couple of weeks, so we ask that you please be patient with us and the whole Archdiocese of Atlanta. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or call me. Know of my prayers for all of you, that we can all respond to what we are being invited to in this time.
Instructions for Distribution of Holy Communion from the Thomistic Institute:
If hosts for the communion of the faithful are to be consecrated, they could be placed on a second corporal towards the side of the altar. This allows the priest to proffer the words of consecration directly over the host he will consume, with the other hosts on the altar but not directly in front of the priest as he speaks the Eucharistic prayer.
The priest (and, if present, the deacon) would consume the Eucharist in the normal way, but would not immediately proceed to distribute Communion to the servers or the faithful. Rather, the newly-consecrated hosts would be briefly placed in the tabernacle awaiting the conclusion of the Mass.
After the concluding blessing and the dismissal, the priest (and deacon, if present) remain in the sanctuary. At the chair, the priest removes his chasuble and the deacon removes his dalmatic.
A small table should be placed at each communion station, with an unfolded corporal and a bottle of hand sanitizer.
The priest (and any other ministers distributing Holy Communion) should use hand sanitizer immediately before approaching the tabernacle. He may also don a surgical mask or cloth face covering. ○ NB: If the priest who has celebrated the Mass is in a higher-risk group, a different priest, arriving at the conclusion of Mass, might distribute Holy Communion in his place.
Now vested in alb and stole, the priest retrieves the newly-consecrated hosts from the tabernacle and returns to the altar. Holding up a single host, he says: “ Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. ” He then leads the people in saying: “ Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed .”
The priest (and other ministers if present) proceeds to the place prepared for distribution of Communion. Each stands next to a table with corporal and hand sanitizer in order to distribute Communion.
The faithful should remove any face coverings before coming forward for Holy Communion.
Holy Communion may not be distributed with gloves, nor may it be received in the hand if a member of the faithful is wearing gloves. ○ Hand hygiene is effective against the virus. In these circumstances, gloves are not needed.
The faithful receive Holy Communion in the normal way. If the priest senses that his fingers have touched the communicant, he should pause, place the ciborium on the corporal, and use hand sanitizer. (He may also arrange for an ablution cup to be on the table, and may purify his fingers in the ablution cup before using hand sanitizer.) He may repeat this process as often as he judges necessary during the distribution of Holy Communion. It is not necessary, however, for him to use hand sanitizer between each communicant, unless he makes actual contact. (For communion on the tongue, see below.) At the conclusion of the distribution of Holy Communion, the priest (and any other ministers) return the remaining hosts to the tabernacle.
The faithful may depart after making a brief prayer of thanksgiving.