Mass was so beautiful this morning with crisp temperatures, lots of sun and a bright blue sky - no small amount of wind either, perfect for the Holy Spirit!
Thanks to so many who came to celebrate the Eucharist together.
The invigorating Spirit is flowing through the Church again!
Holy Cross, with the permission of Bishop O’Connell
will begin offering
9:00 AM indoor mass Monday-Friday (beginning Monday, June 8th)
Limited to 25 persons.
10:30 AM indoor mass on Sundays (beginning June 14th)
Limited to 213 congregational seating; 40 cry room/narthex standing
This is wonderful news indeed. There are many local adaptations allowed within a set of general parameters. The obligation to attend mass is still suspended. Stay at home if sick, vulnerable or wary of contagion. Live stream masses will continue.
- The faithful are requested to wear face masks in and about the church at all times.
- 6 feet apart social distancing outside and indoors in every-other pew and on communion line. Groups who live together may sit together without social distancing from each other. Distance from others should be maintained.
- No gathering outdoors around the doors of the church or in the parking lot after mass
- No physical contact at Sign of Peace
- Communion in hand is preferred.
- Priests will wear masks when distributing Eucharist.
We will have an automatic electronic counter at the door to enumerate visitors. Those exceeding capacity will be asked to attend mass outside the church via speakers or in the gathering space. Only one door for entrance; all doors may be used for exit.
There can be no hymnals or bulletins in the church. No choir or congregational singing.
Restrooms will be closed.
Collection baskets will be located at the doors of the church.
We will begin with one Sunday mass and assess the need for additional Sunday and/or Saturday evening masses as time goes by.
Our parish staff will gather to discuss implementing the guidelines for infant Baptism, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Matrimony and Funerals. Discussions will need to take place regarding First Holy Communions and Confirmations so these sacraments can be celebrated before July. These were not included in the guidelines from the bishop.
The Sunday evening Latin mass will not resume until we can assess how many Saturday/Sunday masses may be needed.
Combinations of outdoor and indoor masses are allowed as are live streaming masses. We will likely experiment as we discover how many people will begin to attend mass again.
We await word from the governor or the bishop on the fate of Pentecost Sunday Masses. No word yet. Friday has been a typical day for recent episcopal updates on church regulations and who can sit through hours of the governor's daily updates with no news? The new regulations regarding school graduations were not released as promised and when available, one had to be an internet sleuth to find them.
I suspect any announcement tomorrow will likely not take effect on Pentecost due to what will be called the elaborate planning needed to be in compliance with whatever the new regulations are. Seriously.
There's a perverse symmetry for the entire Paschal Mystery this year to be banned from churches.
So, mass on Sunday as scheduled, 10:30 AM outdoor, in car mass with communion as cars leave the parking lot. Park every other space; no one to leave cars. Roll windows down for sound; stop engines please.
Still we rejoice in the Eucharist and await an infusion of enthusiasm from the Holy Spirit! Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
outdoor in cars when weather permitting, indoor private live-streamed mass if rain
in case of indoor private mass, Holy Communion will be distributed at 9:30 AM outdoors in cars
Sunday 10:30 AM mass
same weather restrictions as above, except outdoor communion will be in cars at 11:00 AM
We're trying to have communion regardless of weather, but mass vary from indoors to outdoors depending on whether the altar and electric equipment would be exposed to rain.
As of this date, we are not allowed to let anyone inside church for mass.
While President Donald Trump says he wants to move forward with reopening churches. Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey is not ready.
Tension between the White House and New Jersey's governor arose this weekend over a disagreement between when houses of worship should open. Gov. Murphy says the state still needs more time before that can happen.
"I actually spoke to the president late in the day Friday—we'll get there on houses of worship. We have opened outdoor limits to 25 people. We will get to indoor activities probably sooner than later and that…probably at the top of this list. I want to do that, I personally want to do that. But we've got to do it right and at the right pace," Murphy said.
I was so good seeing people again! I hope you could tell I was smiling broadly even through my mask as I distributed Holy Communion. Everything seemed to go smoothly. There was a momentary disconnect of the live streaming broadcast at around 10:40 AM which I don't understand. The reconnect seemed to be almost immediate. I'll have to wait for the final telemetry reports.
How wonderful it was to celebrate Eucharist with a congregation! How wonderful it feels to get the lifeblood of the church flowing again!
Guidelines for tomorrow's Outdoor Mass at 10:30 AM
Please park using every other space; windows must be rolled down to hear the sound system.
Communion will be distributed after mass in front of the altar in the parking lane closest to the church.
Drive up to the communion station heading toward the tennis court and exit on Rumson Road by the gymnasium/tennis courts.
Fr. Manning will be on the driver's side of the vehicle to distribute Eucharist.
An usher will be taking up a collection in the exit lane. Please be generous.
The mass will also be livestreamed on the internet.
Well, this has been an eventful Friday for churches trying to make plans for worship services. The President's comments seem to have gotten church-goers excited and the ball rolling for limited church masses, sooner rather than later or at an unspecified time.
Bishop O'Connell has asked us not to do anything drastic like scheduling indoor masses this weekend until a careful plan can be drawn up, which he anticipates will be "very soon." The bishop will issue an update tomorrow, after he reviews plans by the Priest Taskforce he put in place to plan church re-openings.
Outdoor, In-Car Mass on Sunday at 10:30 AM
(In the event of rain, private mass will be live streamed indoors. Communion will then be outdoors, in cars at 11:00 AM.
We have to move indoors because of the altar and electronic equipment, not because the pastor isn't waterproof!)
You just talk
Talk too much
Sunday's mass (weather permitting) will be outdoors with distribution of Eucharist after mass.
Those attending mass should stay in their cars, park in alternate spots and exit by the chapel for receiving Holy Communion. Those not wishing to receive Eucharist should drive out the Rumson Road exit by the tennis club. Please try to arrive a little early to allow for parking.
I tested the WiFi capacity of the server outdoors under the pergola, even walking around a bit. The recording was obviously fine, but it also seemed that the live stream broadcast went well, with no dropped frames or buffering.
Tomorrow we will attempt to livestream the 9:00 AM mass from outside, recording it for rebroadcast at 10:00 AM in case there are technical problems.
It's good news the signal is strong enough outside.
Friday 9:00 AM outdoor mass
10:00 AM streaming mass
Sunday 10:30 AM outdoor mass
12 noon streaming mass
What a joy filled day as the celebration of public Eucharist returns to Holy Cross Church!
The bright blue sky, cool temperatures and no gusts of powerful winds was perfect weather. Most people seemed to be able to hear adequately and the communion line went smoothly.
Thanks to all who came and prayed with us.
Tomorrow's first mass will also be outdoors, weather permitting, at 9:00 AM.
I meant to record the mass by computer with an altar mike as an experiment for later rebroadcast but forgot to hit the record button as we started mass. Too much technology! I'll try again tomorrow.
The loudspeaker is under the tree by the carriage house.
The altar is just in front of the pergola on the main path to the church.