Holy Family Catholic Church

“Cherish the Past, Celebrate the Present, Create a Bright Future”

15 Gender Road, Newark, DE 19713
Office: 302.368.4665
Religious Ed: 302.368.8976

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"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices."
— St. Teresa of Avila


Prayerful Resources

Phase 1 Reopening of Holy Family

May 26, 2020

We have received permission from Bishop Malooly to open our churches into Phase 1 of reopening.

  • We may begin to offer daily Mass beginning Monday June 1.
  • We may begin to offer Sunday Mass beginning on Trinity Sunday June 6/7, and Reconciliation on Saturday June 6 at 3:30 PM.
  • At this point in Phase 1 Funeral Masses and Wedding Masses are still not permitted. This is to allow parishes to have a slow and gradual start up.
  • Even though we are reopening we will be operating in such a way that is far from “normal.”
    • Do not expect our normal routine as it was prior to the pandemic.
  • The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass that was issued by Bishop Malooly on March 12 is still in effect
    • This means if you are elderly (age 65 or older) or your health is somehow compromised you should not plan on attending Mass while we are in Phase 1 of reopening.
    • We will continue to record the Sunday Mass and post it on the Holy Family Catholic Church Newark De YouTube channel. You may view the Mass there.
    • Those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to the virus within the last 14 days are not permitted in the church.
    • We will not be taking temperatures, but we ask that you check your own temperature and those in your families before leaving home.
    • If you do not feel well in any way please stay home.
  • Remember that you are the primary protector of your own health or the health of your family. When entering a public place, be it a grocery store or a church, there is always the risk that you may become infected.
    • We will do all we can to disinfect surfaces and spaces as best we can between Masses.
    • However, individuals and heads of households assume the risk themselves or their families if you choose to attend during this Phase 1 period.

Everyone will enter through the main doors of the church building and everyone will exit at the end of Mass through the portico side doors of the church.

  • Upon entering there will be hand sanitizer that everyone must use.
    • It is always a good idea to bring your own sanitizer.
  • You will proceed directly to the church. Do not stop in the Gathering Space to congregate with relatives and friends.
  • When meeting relatives and friends do not shake hands, hug, or kiss one another. Always practice safe distancing.
  • The church aisles and pews will be marked with tape designating safe distancing. Members of the same household may sit together. Do not sit in pews or chairs that are marked off.

The restrooms, of course, will be available for your use. However, we do not have the means to cleanse and disinfect between every person that uses the restroom. Use them at your own risk.

Hymnals will not be available. If you usually follow the readings in the hymnal you must bring your own copy of the readings. You can get the readings at any number of websites online. Google “Sunday Mass Readings.”

There will be no bulletin available during this Phase 1 period.

A collection basket will be at the entrance to the church and at the Portico Side Door. Please place your donation in the basket before Mass begins when you enter the church, or in the basket as you leave church by the Portico door. There will be no collection taken during Mass.

  • There is to be no Presentation of the Gifts.

Attendance is limited to 30% of the capacity of the church, and there should be a 6 foot distance between people at all times.

  • For Holy Family, that means 150 people, though it may be less once the 6 foot distancing is observed.
  • Members who live in the same household may sit together.
  • Gatherings before and after Mass are prohibited and the priest should not greet people either before or after the Mass.
  • Everyone must wear a mask.
  • The CDC guidelines for masks are as follows: “Individuals age 13 and up are required to wear a cloth face covering to enter and remain inside (cloth face covering is recommended but not required for children ages 2-12)

During this Phase 1 period we will not be using any Sacristans, Lectors, or Altar Servers.

There will be no exchange of the Sign of Peace.

Communion will be distributed after the final blessing of Mass, both for Sunday Mass and daily Mass. This minimizes movement during Mass and will encourage a more orderly and measured exit from the building.

  • The cup will not be offered.
  • After the EMHC have received and the priest and the EMHC are at their stations, the people may come forward keeping the 6 foot distancing requirement.
  • When they are at the front, the communicant will lower their mask, receive the consecrated host, step aside to the mark on the floor, consume the host, replace their mask and leave immediately by the Portico Side door.
  • If you are wearing gloves you will be asked to remove the gloves before receiving communion. We cannot put the consecrated host in hands that are gloved.
  • I am strongly urging, begging, pleading that you receive communion in your hand.
  • This is not the time for personal piety, but rather consideration for the health and well-being of those distributing communion and those following you in the line.
    • If you insist on receiving Communion on the tongue than I ask that you wait and come at the end of the line.
    • This is because the ministers are required to sanitize their hands between every person who chooses to receive on the tongue.
  • If you are not receiving communion do not get in the communion line.
  • How to receive Communion:
    • Hold your hand out palm up, and wide open, and away from your body
    • Put your head back, open your mouth and stick your tongue out

As you can see, all of this if far from “normal.”
I ask your patience and understanding as we move into this first phase of reopening.
Fr. Mark