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The Matthian:
We're Still Here

SUPPLEMENTAL ISSUE
Volume 2, Issue 5: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Public Masses will resume this weekend at St. Matthias!
Please carefully read through the guidelines below.

CORRECTION: In order to facilitate a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of our worship space and facilities between Masses, St. Matthias will have two Masses each weekend: Saturday at 5:00 pm and Sunday at 10:30 am. We sincerely apologize for inadvertently omitting this important detail. (This was announced in Vol. 2, Issue 5 of The Matthian).

On May 29, 2020, Archbishop Cordileone confirmed that "Masses may resume in San Mateo County, beginning on June 1st at the pastor's discretion, but with the state-imposed limitation of 25% capacity of the church or 100 people, whichever is lower, as well as adhering to the safety protocols issued by the Archdiocese for opening our churches to public Mass."  He continues, "It is of paramount importance to insure that all of these safety measures be carefully implemented and meticulously observed." 

As Fr. Dave reminded us in his homily on Sunday, May 31st, the Feast of Pentecost, "The church has not been closed since March 15...but the church, the people of God does not require a building to be church. That church never closes, our work is never done..." We thank all the lay liturgical ministers who have volunteered to serve at the upcoming Masses and we understand that not all will feel comfortable worshipping with the community yet. As Archbishop Cordileone asked us to reiterate, the dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect. 

In order to comply with public health guidelines and directives from the Archdiocese, St. Matthias will observe the following good practices that keep people healthy:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing
  • No physical contact between people (hugs, handshake)
  • Wear face masks
  • Provide hand sanitizer in multiple places especially at entrances/exits, restrooms, near ambo and altar and on the credence table.
  • Ask all Mass attendees to bring their own mask and hand sanitizer.
Continue Live Streaming Mass
The 8:30 am Mass at St. Charles will continue to be live streamed for those who wish to remain sheltering in place. The live streams can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/StCharlesParishSC/videos or on the St. Matthias parish website http://www.stmatthiasparish.org.

Please follow all the directional signs and important do's and don'ts posted inside and outside of Church. 
All will be invited to enter through the double doors (side entrances will be for exiting only). Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the start of Mass to facilitate the collection of the Informed Consent Forms (below) and navigating the new seating arrangement. Observe 6ft. social distancing outside as you are waiting to enter the building. Once you enter the Church, visit a hand sanitizing station before finding your pew. 

Informed Consent Forms.
The San Mateo Public Health Officer recommends faith communities have their members who attend services in person sign an informed consent form that lays out the risks of such gatherings. Archbishop Cordileone is requiring all parishioners who attend Masses to complete this form. In order to assist with contact tracing (if necessary), we are also required to obtain the names and contact information of all who attend Masses for the next 45 days. This form is required for all those who attend Mass including ministers (one form per family/household). Sabrina and Lisa will be at the double doors to collect your completed forms. For those who do not bring the form, a table with forms will be available in the Hall. Click here to download the form to print and complete.

A-L / M-Z
In order to assist with limiting the number of people who attend each weekend, those with A-L surnames are invited to attend on June 6/7 and June 20/21, while those with M-Z surnames are invited to attend on June 13/14 and June 27/28. Liturgical Ministers do not need to follow this pattern.

The Worship Space.
  • All who enter St. Matthias Church must wear a mask or face covering.
  • Signs will be posted on each pew. Every other pew will be closed to maintain 6ft. physical distancing. Other pews will be marked with the number of seats available.  Only one family/household will be allowed per pew. If you are a family of 4, please find a pew marked with 4 seats. If you are an individual, please find a seat marked with 2 seats. A seating chart will be available for reference and Greeters will be on hand to assist.
  • Collection baskets will be placed at exit doors of the Church.  Please deposit your envelopes or donations into the baskets as you exit the Church. 
  • No print materials (except the bulletin) will be available in the worship space. This includes Breaking Bread, hymnals, missalettes, children's’ toys and any other materials. Parents are encouraged to bring materials from home for young children. Bulletins will be available on tables by the entry doors and include the text of the readings.  
  • There will be no Holy Water in the small fonts or in the Baptismal font.
  • Only one person (or family) will be able to enter the restroom at a time. There will be a sign posted on the door indicating occupied/available. Disinfecting wipes will be available for use on toilet seats and sinks. Please do not flush the wipes. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to leaving the restroom. 
  • The water fountain in the hall will not be available. We are encouraging parishioners to bring their own water bottles to Church (we will have a limited supply of bottled water available).
  • There will be no overflow seating in the hall. 

During Mass.
We are happy to welcome you all back to worship together. Please be aware that there are many changes made to maintain maximum safety for all, especially during Communion. The priest celebrant will give directions throughout.

  • The Liturgical Procession (server, deacon and priest) will proceed from the sacristy to the altar.
  • The Reader and Eucharistic Ministers will remain in their pews during the procession.
  • Music ministers will lead music, but there will be no congregational singing. The other parts of the Mass will be recited.
  • Holding hands during the Lord's Prayer is only allowed with members of your household. A physical Sign of Peace should only be offered to members of your household. A gesture such as a nod or bow can be shared with others. 
  • Procession of the Gifts will be suspended at this time.
  • Those distributing Holy Communion will include the Celebrant, Deacon and two Extraordinary Ministers.
  • Eucharistic ministers will come to the altar during the Sign of Peace and use hand sanitizer.
  • After receiving the ciborium from the priest, ministers proceed to side sections of pews for distribution of Communion.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed by the Celebrant, the Deacon and two Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.
  • Ministers will bring Communion to members of the congregations by moving through the empty pews. There will be no Communion procession.
  • For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with the priest or deacon prior to Mass.
  • Communicants will receive the Host on the hand.  For those who wish to receive the Host on the tongue, special arrangements are to be made with the priest prior to Mass.
  • Should the priest, deacon or Eucharistic minister come in contact with the hand of a communicant, the minister will stop and sanitize their hands before continuing.
  • The faithful will wear facial covering.  They will lower the covering just prior to the reception of the Eucharist.
  • At the conclusion of the distribution of Holy Communion, ministers return the remaining hosts to the tabernacle and then perform hand hygiene with hand sanitizer. 
Dismissal
  • All the Church doors will be open to facilitate parishioners quick exit from the Church building. This is necessary so that our cleaning process can commence. Please feel free to visit in the parking lot while maintaining 6ft. social distancing.
We would like to reiterate the following for the health and safety of our parishioners and community. All those who are elderly or who have pre-existing health conditions are encouraged to stay home. We are all in this together and through God's grace will be blessed with patience and perseverance as we continue to navigate these challenging times. 
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