Dear Our Lady of Peace Parishioners.
I send warm greetings to you and your families …. as well as prayers for your health and safety in these challenging times that we are all living through. May we and our world all learn and grow through this.
From our Church Rectory offices we continue to monitor guidelines and reports issued to us from New York State, the County of Erie, and the Diocese of Buffalo as to how and when we may conduct church services again in our Parish. This past weekend on June 14’th we celebrated Eucharist outdoors on our church parking lot and green space. This was the first public Mass celebrated here in 13 weeks …. since March 15’th. It was such a welcome experience to gather again as a parish family around the Altar table. This coming weekend, June 20’th and 21’st we will return to our regularly scheduled Mass times of :
….Saturday …… 4:30 PM
….Sunday ……….8: 00 AM and 10:00 AM
These Masses will take place in our beautiful church worship space. Please remember that safety is our number one priority. We are following all of the recommended and required guidelines for safety within our parish to make the church safe from the Covid-19 Pandemic Virus. But you are also reminded that the Bishop has continued to dispense of the obligation for Catholics to attend weekend Mass. If you feel at all unsure about attending Mass yet, please remain home and do not attend. Our weekend Masses are and will continue to be taped and presented on our Parish website … www.olpclarence.org. Also, if you yourself feel ill, are with a temperature, or have been in contact with someone who has the virus, please do not attend for your safety and for the safety of your fellow parishioners.
As you attend Mass now you may notice a few differences. First of all, please bring with you a facemask. It is required to wear the face mask at all times when you are in the Church building. We will have hand sanitizer available at the doors of our church but it is suggested that you bring your own personal hand sanitizer as well. You will notice in the church that we have removed the Holy Water fonts for safety reasons. We have also placed rope markers across some pew entrances. You are allowed to sit in any of the pews without a rope marker. This coincides with the government guideline that we continue to social distance during the Mass. If you arrive with family members you are welcome to sit together. You should distance yourselves in the pews at least 6 feet from anyone else who is not in your family member party. You will notice that we have removed the Missalettes from the pews for safety reasons. You asked not to congregate or socialize before or after the Mass. There will be no donuts and coffee in the hall after the Masses until further notice. During the Mass you will notice that congregation singing will be minimal and we ask you to nod to those next to you for the Sign of Peace. For Communion, we ask you to follow the directions of the ushers. You are asked to remain 6 feet apart in the Communion Line while wearing your facemask. You may lower your mask as you consume the Eucharist. Communion will be distributed only into one’s hand and not on the tongue for the time being and will be given out only as the Body of Christ and not the Blood of Christ for the time being. For the closing procession the Priest will immediately return to the sacristy and will not be at the doors to greet people. This is all in conformity with guidelines set forth for the Mass from the Diocese of Buffalo Worship Office.
I would mention a few other guidelines:
--The Parish “Crying Room” will not be able to be used during weekend Masses because of the close proximity of people in that room. The restroom in that room also cannot be utilized.--Confessions will begin again on Saturday… June 20’th at 3:30 PM. We are not allowed to use the traditional Confession Room but will use the “Crying Room” because it is a larger space. Both the Priest and the Penitent are asked to use a facemask during the Confession.
--Church Bulletins …. Our weekly church bulletin is available on-line on our Parish website….per Diocesan guidelines we are not able to have available to you a paper copy in the church. This is for safety concerns.
--Daily Masses have begun again with a slightly different schedule for now. The schedule is as follows:
….Mondays ………………….8 AM Mass
….Tuesdays…………………..6:30 AM and 8 AM Mass
….Wednesdays……………..6:30 AM and 8 AM Mass
….Thursdays…………………..6:30 AM and 8 AM Mass
….Fridays………………………..6:30 AM Mass
--The Church will continue to remain open for private prayer throughout the week from 9 AM to 3 PM.
--Eucharistic Adoration will continue to take place on Wednesdays from 9 AM to 6 PM.
--There will be some additional tasks required after each weekend Mass to satisfy requirements in sanitizing the worship space. If you can assist in any way please call the rectory.
Thank you for your patience and understanding of these adjustments necessitated for your safety and the safety of your brothers and sisters. Please follow our parish website and we will continue to update you as modifications are made. Please do not hesitate to contact the parish rectory at 759-8554 if you have any questions.
May God continue to bless you and guide you and your family.
In Christ’s Peace,