We have now completed our first month of in-person masses. Your sacrifices and cooperation have been indispensable for building and maintaining a safe and loving environment at All Saints as we worship God in the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty. Until an effective vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 has been developed, we will continue to exercise these prudent measures for public masses.
The ministers of All Saints have pastoral duties that involve visitation to parishioners who have been in strict lockdown in retirement facilities. So whether we are celebrating the Holy Communion at the parish church or visiting with those who cannot attend the public mass, your clergy must exercise the greatest care not to unknowingly endanger any of our parishioners. No one enjoys refraining from singing the mass, social distancing, always reminding ourselves to wash our hands, or wearing face coverings. We are taking these precautions because we are truly and not selectively pro-life, and remember that we take these measures for others, not just for ourselves.
We grant that we all prefer to present our eucharistic worship of God as beautifully and as carefree as we did prior to this pandemic. His love and provisions to us and all creation are beyond measuring, and they move us to adoration. However, it would be foolish to throw caution to the wind as though such an action would be a faithful response to this public health crisis. And as you well know, the worship of the Trinity in the Holy Communion is not about you or us or the blessings we derive from it — the Blessed Sacrament is about the adoration of God Almighty. Those blessings are most certainly there in every single mass, and they abound whether the nave is packed or whether only two or three faithful Christians gather around the Altar with a priest.
We speak for ourselves and, we are sure, for each parishioner, when we thank Ken Meyers for going the extra mile to provide a safe way for us to make a joyful noise to the Lord after each mass. And we want to thank Fr. Dan and Fr. Gene for their labors of love each Sunday, as well as the volunteers who sanitize the pews after each mass. It is evident that prayer and work go hand in hand, and one can see it in the abundance of self-giving service to Christ and his Church.
We have talked about the need to help our parishioners understand the hard necessities that are now upon us: “What does it mean to offer up personal suffering in the mass?” “Is there a Catholic answer to the hurtful isolation that I am feeling at this time?” “I don’t want to be fearful, but I am sometimes fearful — does that mean I lack faith?” These are all opportunities to consciously and intentionally deepen our trust in God. We will be sending out a short letter each week, suggesting the ways and means that are now before us for a deeper life in Christ.
By the grace of God we have been able to return to the worship of God in the Blessed Sacrament and that ought to be central to our lives. Provisions have been made for all sorts and conditions of men and women in our parish. We will continue these basic prudent requirements:
1. Masks are absolutely required for everyone who can wear a mask, except children under 10 years are excepted. If you have a disability that prohibits you from wearing a mask, contact Fr. Glenn and arrangements will be made for you and your loved ones.
2. Our pews are marked for the recommended 6’ separation necessary.
3. There will be no choir or congregational singing, except after the mass under the shade tree.
4. The sermon at this time will continue to be available online.
All Trinity Blessings,
Fr. Glenn and Fr. Sean