Plans for the Resumption of Public Mass

PHASE ONE

On May 11, 2020 Bishop Caggiano announced the first phase of the resumption of Masses in the presence of the faithful for the Diocese of Bridgeport.  Weekend Masses will begin in our parish the weekend of 5/23-4.  Please find below the important information about Phase One that will help you to know what to expect and how to prepare so you and your loved ones may participate. 

Please keep in mind that during this phase there remains no obligation to attend Mass, especially if there is a safety or health concern.  Fr. Connaughton will continue to post a video of the weekend Mass on the parish website for those who decide not to attend Mass during Phase One. 

Mass Schedule (Modified for Phase One) 

  • Saturday Vigil – 4pm 
  • Sunday – 8,10,12 
  • Daily Masses will continue to be offered in private by the parish priests

Location of Masses 

  • All Masses will be offered in the parking lot of St. Cecilia Church, 1184 Newfield Ave. 

Reservation System – because we must configure the parking lot to conform to social distancing requirements, we are limited to 65 cars per Mass.  For this reason, all who wish to attend a particular weekend Mass must make a reservation beforehand.  This is mandatory per Diocesan regulations.  Reservations may be made up to 6 days in advance. 

  • Reservations may be made in one of two ways: 
  1. Parish Website (https://stcecilia-stgabriel.org/) – this is the preferred method.  Our home page will have a link that allows people to reserve a place at parish Masses 
  1. Parish Office (203 322-1562) – for those who do not have access to the internet, you may contact the parish office during business hours, Tues-Fri, 9am-4pm to make a reservation on the phone. 

What to Expect 

Arrival – Cars may enter the church property 30min prior to the start of Mass through the northern-most entrance on Newfield Ave ONLY.  There, a volunteer will check your reservation for that Mass before directing you down to the main parking area where another volunteer will accept your offertory donation.  Donations may also be made online or mailed to the parish office.  The volunteers will then direct you to the next available parking spot.  No one may attend Mass without being in a car, except for volunteers. 

Audio – audio will be broadcast using an FM transmitter.  You will be able to listen to the Mass through your car radio on a frequency that will be given to you upon arrival.  

Reception of Communion – during the Mass the Eucharist will be offered to the people.  Those who wish to receive the Eucharist must remain in their cars until the priest approaches the row in which they are parked.  Those who present themselves for Communion must observe the following norms: 

  • Please be sure your car is turned off before leaving your car to approach for Communion 
  • All those who approach to receive Communion must maintain 6ft of distance from the person ahead of them and behind (unless they are from the same family) at all times. 
  • All those who come to Communion must be wearing a mask. The parish will not be providing masks, so please come prepared.   
  • Reception on the hand is strongly encouraged, but those who wish to receive on the tongue may do so. Gloves are discouraged, especially where someone desires to receive on the hand.  In those cases where someone wishes to receive the Eucharist on the hand while wearing gloves, they must leave the gloves with a volunteer before they go home, so that the gloves that have had contact with the Blessed Sacrament may be disposed of correctly. 
  • To consume the Eucharist you must remove your mask.  Thus, it is very important to be extremely careful with the Blessed Sacrament to avoid dropping it or treating it with a lack of reverence. 
  • If you are physically unable to leave your car to receive Communion, please put on your hazard lights so the priest knows that he must approach your car.  Please use good judgment when deciding whether or not to leave your car, erring on the side of caution. 
  • Please know that if the priest makes any contact with the person receiving the Eucharist, he MUST disinfect his fingers before offering the Eucharist to the next person in line. 

In Case of Emergency – during the Mass all participants must remain in their cars, except when invited to receive Communion.  The church and all parish buildings will be locked while Mass is in progress.  That means there will be no access to restrooms.  If for any reason you must leave before Mass has ended, you may leave using either of the two designated exits. 

In Case of Rain – where weather conditions do not permit a safe celebration of Mass outdoors, public celebration of Mass will be cancelled and the priest will say Mass in private.  Information on cancellations will be posted on the website and notice sent to those who have registered on our Flocknote account, available through the website. 

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