Just a reminder that our church will be open every Monday from 1-2p.m. and every Friday from 7-8p.m. for personal prayer and reflection. Our church will also be open every Saturday from 1-2p.m. for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please enter the church through the North courtyard handicapped ramp entrance.
As we reopen our church for daily and Sunday Mass, I want to give you some information about what to expect as you come to church. The Mass itself will be the same, but the way in which we enter the church and participate in the Mass and the way in which the church will be sectioned off will be very different from what we are used to. The guidelines that follow were developed by the reopening team of the Archdiocese of Chicago and are meant to make sure that anyone who comes to church will remain safe and well. Please carefully read through it. – Fr. Paul
While our parish staff will attempt to take all appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, parishioners and guests should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.
In order to attend Mass, you will need to register ahead of time. Please do not register if you are running a fever, if you feel sick or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus during the prior 14 days. It is also the recommendation but not a requirement of the Archdiocese that people over 65 and people with preexisting medical conditions not attend Mass. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable about returning to church, know that the dispensation from attending church on Sundays and holy days of obligation remains in effect for everyone. We will continue to livestream the 10a.m. Mass every Sunday. To access our livestreamed Mass go to https://www.facebook.com/stgregschicago. If you are not able to watch it live, it will be downloaded onto our Facebook page immediately after the Mass is over for viewing at a later time.
No one will be allowed into church who has not registered ahead of time. There are two reasons for this. The first is that due to social distancing, we have a maximum seating capacity of 55 people in our church which includes greeters, ushers and the cleanup team. Second, we need to keep a record of all people who attend the Mass for the purpose of contact tracing in the event that if anyone who comes to Mass is diagnosed with Covid-19, there will be a list of people who will need to be notified. The list will be destroyed 14 days after the day on which the Mass took place.
You are asked to enter the church through the front doors of the church located on Paulina Street. When you arrive, you will be met by a greeter who will check to see if your name is on the list of people who registered. The greeter will also ask you some Covid-19 questions and will make sure that you are wearing a face mask. You will not be allowed in the church if you are not wearing a face mask. And you must wear the face mask for the entire Mass. Children under the age of two do not need to wear a face mask.The greeter will also spray your hands with a liquid hand sanitizer.
When you enter church, you will be met by an usher who will lead you to your seat. Please observe social distancing as you enter the church. You will see blue crosses on the floor of church spaced six feet apart. All the pews have been marked in a way that reflects six feet of social distancing. Seating will take place from front to back. On the back of each available pew, you will find blue crosses. You must sit at that place in order to maintain proper social distancing. Only two people can be seated in the center pews and only one person can be seated in the side pews. Family groupings, however, may be seated together.
During the Mass, there will be no altar servers. There will be no opening, offertory or recessional procession. There will be no sign of peace. There will be no congregational singing. Only the cantor will sing. You will notice that in the pews there are no hymnals or missalettes. The blue envelopes and the GiveCentral cards have also been removed. There will be no worship aids. The ushers will not take up a collection. A collection basket will be available at the North Courtyard ramp entrance where you can leave your Sunday offering. Bulletins and a TIPS FOR ALL WORSHIPERS brochure will be available as you leave church.
When it is time for communion, ushers will signal you when it is your turn to receive communion. Once again, please observe social distancing as you come forward for communion in one single file line. There are blue crosses on the floor of the church spaced six feet apart. Communion will be only be distributed by the celebrant of the Mass. He will wear a face shield when he distributes communion. Before you receive communion, you will be asked to use hand sanitizer. Communion will only be distributed under one species – the most Precious Body of Christ. You may only receive communion in the hand. Once you have received communion in the hand, you will be asked to step to the left or to the right to a spot that is indicated on the floor with a blue cross. At this point you may remove one side of your mask to receive communion. Immediately after receiving communion, you will be asked to replace your mask before returning to your pew.
At the end of the Mass, you will be asked to remain in your pew until an usher dismisses you beginning at the front of church and moving towards the back. Please take with you any Kleenex, hand wipes or any other items that you brought with you to church. You will be dismissed via the North Courtyard ramp door. You are asked to observe social distancing as you leave church and are asked not to congregate outside of the church doors. Continue to wear your mask until you leave the church grounds. There will be no red vigil candles available to light at any of our shrines.