FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING REINSTATEMENT OF MASS SERVICES AT OUR LADY OF PEACE AND ST ANDREW’S
- Which Mass should I attend?
- Is there a Sunday obligation?
- How many can the church hold?
- Can I book a place?
- What do I need to do when I arrive?
- What are the social distancing guidelines when I go to Mass?
- Do I need to wear a mask?
- Can I come to the sacristy to see the Priest before or after Mass?
- How do I request for Mass to be celebrated for my intentions?
- What happens inside?
- Can I sit with my family?
- Can I light a candle?
- Will Mass be different?
- Will there be a collection?
- Can I receive Holy Communion?
- Do I have to receive Holy Communion?
- What will happen at the end of Mass?
- Download the FAQ to your device
1 | Which Mass should I attend?
Please see the Mass times in the latest Parish Newsletter.
2 | Is there a Sunday obligation?
At present this has been dispensed by the Bishops of England and Wales and remains suspended. Bishop David encourages those who can attend a Mass during the week to do so rather than wait for Sunday, which is often busier. If you cannot attend or if you feel very uncomfortable at present, Mass will continue to be streamed live via Facebook and YouTube.
3 | How many can the church hold?
Our Lady of Peace can safely hold about 45 people. St Andrew’s can safely hold about 44 people. Once the maximum is reached, no one else will be permitted to enter. Please try and consider attending a quieter weekday Mass.
4 | Can I book a place?
At the moment no. We are concerned that there are many people in the parish who do not have internet access and could be seriously disadvantaged if an online system or even telephone booking system is in place. We will, instead, operate a first come, first served approach for the first few weeks and observe if this is working well and review if not.
5 | What do I need to do when I arrive?
- Church will be open 30 minutes before Mass begins. Arrive in plenty of time.
- Entrance will be via the main door (from the car park). There will be no entrance from the side door.
- Please wait outside to be called in.
- Observe 2 metre distance from others outside your family group while you are waiting.
- You will be asked to sign a Contact Tracing Form. Bring your own pen if you don’t want to touch the ones provided
- A steward will take your temperature. If your temperature is higher than normal you will be asked to leave and follow Government advice.
- You will be asked to sanitize your hand before you enter the Church.
6 | What are the social distancing guidelines when I go to Mass?
The Government maintains that the 2m social distancing requirements should be applied where possible. The Government has also said it is possible to go to “1m plus” which means people can be spaced more closely (to a minimum of 1m). Where this is the case a mitigation of risk must also applied. In the case of our churches, this would mean the compulsory wearing of a face covering for members of the congregation. For those on the sanctuary, sufficiently distanced from the congregation, there is no need to wear face coverings.
7 | Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes. Please bring your own masks. Should you forget, we can provide one.
8 | Can I come to the sacristy to see the priest before or after mass?
It is not advisable. Access to the Sacristy will be restricted. It is better to book an appointment to see the parish priest for any matter.
9 | How do I request for Mass to be celebrated for my intentions?
Please write your Mass intentions on paper and put in an envelope and leave in the offertory basket or put your Mass intentions in the donation box by the exit door.
10 | What happens inside?
A steward will ask you to place your contact details in a basket and show you to the sanitising station. Once you have sanitised, you will be directed to the next steward who will guide you to your seat.
11 | Can I sit with my family?
Yes you can. Just follow stewards’ advice.
12 | Can I light a candle?
Yes you can when there is no one nearby. Candles have been pre-loaded onto the stand and you can simply light one from another.
13 | Will Mass be different?
It will be largely the same, however, with a few changes such as:
- Initially it will be shorter than usual.
- Kneelers have been taped up as these cannot be cleaned easily.
- To reduce the spread of moisture from the breath, singing is not permitted unfortunately. Pre-recorded music will be played instead.
- There will be no physical sign of peace
- Altar servers will be limited to only one per Mass – or more if from the same household
- The toilet will be closed.
14 | Will there be a collection?
Offerings can be made on departure where you will see a donation box (secured to the wall) or you can use the basket which will be nearby. This is an opportunity to consider online giving, mobile banking and standing orders as an alternative means of making your offering and supporting the parish. Information on how to go about these alternative means are available in the newsletter and on the parish website.
15 | Can I receive Holy Communion?
Yes, in the hand. After he has received Holy Communion, the priest will raise the consecrated host from the altar, say “the Body of Christ,” and all will answer “Amen.” So there will be no individual dialogue between the minister and the communicant, when Holy Communion, given only under one kind, is received. Fr Joe and Eucharistic Ministers will sanitise their hands and they will be wearing masks. You should remain seated and they will come to you. We will review this (and all other processes) during the first two masses to see if it works and adjust accordingly if necessary.
16 | Do I have to receive Holy Communion?
While Communion is an integral part of our celebration of Mass there is no obligation at this time to receive communion if you are concerned for your or others health. A spiritual communion is sufficient in this case. Before the distribution of Holy Communion, the Priest will say the prayer for Spiritual Communion. Please do not come forward for a blessing. The blessing at the end of the Mass will be sufficient.
17 | What will happen at the end of Mass?
You need to remain seated until a steward advises you to leave. You should then leave promptly, as directed by the Stewards. You must sanitise your hands on departure. Please do not linger in the church or at the porch or directly outside the door as you will be preventing others from leaving.
When the church is empty, stewards will then clean the seats, doors handles etc.
We are grateful to God and to our volunteers that we have this opportunity of communal worship. Let us be aware that we are not back to normal yet.
This is all very new to us and we would ask that you bear with us as we try to get things right. Please also respect the role of the stewards who have very kindly volunteered. Without them, we could not open the doors.
18 | Download the FAQ to your device