After thorough discussions between the Catholic leadership and civic authorities doors will again be open for in-person worship and ministries. Reopening our churches to ‘new beginnings’ is a welcome news! And, due to safety concerns of those attending the Mass, this reopening will happen in phases.
Phase one will bring smaller groups of healthy Catholics back to a limited Mass under strict social distancing guidelines and rules. Followed by a phase two which will allow larger groups. Finally, we will have a phase three, allowing choirs to return to church and social gatherings to resume. However, at this point it is unknown when we will enter phases two and three. Phasing the return allows for the ability to re-evaluate the process as necessary ensuring the health and safety of the community going forward.
For now, only 50 people can attend a single mass. Number of masses have been reduced to two on Sundays. You must make a reservation to attend and those reservations are ‘sold out’ through the end of the month.
Though livestreaming church mass is still preferred over reopening our churches at this time, many dioceses are issuing statements to parishes and parishioners preparing them. These have information on how to protect themselves and letting them know what is expected of them.
A step-by-step approach to resume in-person ministries
During this pandemic, our plan aims to help churches:
- Live out their missional calling
- Meet social, emotional, and spiritual needs
- Provide protection against COVID-19
- Support the broader effort to contain COVID-19
When adapting this plan to your church, it is very important to adhere to local government guidelines. Therefore, the number of people allowed to gather in your plan may differ from this plan due to local restrictions. The table only includes some of the more common church activities. When making decisions on how other activities can be implemented safely, consider the factors in the first table and where modified activities should be placed in the second table.We recommend that you reach out to your communities. Email them or notify them through your website and social media channels. If you need assistance, reach out to our team at GiveCentral. We are here to help you plan your communications during this time.
You can also customize our guidelines for your own communication. Include other directives determined by the your Diocesan Bishops. This will help you to establish some common practices in the celebration of Mass to fulfil any social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have an excellent communication toolkit for social media with ready-to-use content and emails templates available at your dashboard. Please make use of them. If you have any questions about livestreaming a mass click to connect with our support team here.
Further, our resource page is a good source of information for communicating and fundraising during the coronavirus crisis. We’re optimistic about how communication will help all of us stay connected and navigate the ongoing changes we face—both as individuals and as organizations. We assure you that our team will continue to work to develop new information, checklists and guides. We are in this together.