Resuming Public Mass
9th July 2020
I hope you all continue to be safe and well. All of us at the Priory are fine, thank God.
Thank you to those who completed the survey about the reopening of public Masses. Over 100 responses were received. The survey indicated that almost 80% are ready to return to Mass once we reopen. Almost 85% of you are willing to come during the week. By far the most popular time for a weekday Mass was 6pm, and the most popular times for Sunday were 11am and 6pm.
After looking at your responses, and discussing the logistics at length as a Dominican community, we have decided the following:
Monday to Friday: 6pm: Said Mass with a short homily
(in accordance with the Bishops’ Conference requirements).
6pm on Saturday
11.15 and 6pm on Sunday.
These will also be said Masses, in accordance with requirements.
New Times for Private Prayer
From next week onwards, the Church will only be open for private prayer on Saturday mornings from 10-12, so as to allow the cleaning resources to be deployed most effectively.
Conventual Masses – Livestreamed
The 7.30am Masses Monday to Friday, the 8.30am on Saturday and the 9.30am on Sunday will remain behind closed doors.
They will be sung Conventual Masses, and will be livestreamed. These are for those who cannot attend, or wish to continue to watch online. They are also important as a supplement to the public Masses we will say.
Important Instructions – please read
· The 2m rule will be in operation.
· The use of masks in the Church is therefore not essential, but is encouraged.
· An automatic hand sanitising machine will be in place to be used upon entry and exit
· Holy Communion will be supervised by a Dominican marshal.
The Church will be professionally cleaned after each Mass by a company who have all the necessary PPE and training to carry out the task to the highest standard.
BOOKING TO ATTEND PUBLIC MASSES
Places at Masses will need to be booked via Eventbrite (a link will be sent in a later email). We would ask those of you who are able to book places in this way to help those who cannot. There will also be a phone number advertised for those who wish to book by phone instead.
Bookings will be on a goodwill basis. Initially, we would ask that people book a place at one Mass each week, so that as many as possible can attend. We would ask that you do not block-book places at Mass.
Dates for Starting Public Masses
Our aim would be to start celebrating Masses from Monday 6pm onwards, but we await final details from the cleaning company. I will send out a further notification, along with details of how to book as soon as possible.
I realise that this is a lot to take in! However, I hope that it will all soon make sense and that we will get into a routine and that we will be able to make the best of things. We all realise that we would rather celebrate Mass in a less restrictive way. However, that is simply not safe at present. What we do have however is the possibility of receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion, and that is something that we have all been longing for.
Fr Robert Gay OP, Prior