May 18, 2020
Dear Parishioners of Christ the King Parish,
PUBLIC MASSES TO RESUME UNDER RESTRICTED CONDITIONS ON THE WEEKEND OF MAY 30th/31st
As Governor Baker is now permitting the reopening of Houses of Worship in Massachusetts, we must prepare our parish church here at Christ the King for a “new normal” which will continue until this novel coronavirus is fully under control. At the direction of the Most Reverend Edgar Da Cunha, Bishop of Fall River, Roman Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Fall River will reopen to the public for worship on the Feast of Pentecost which falls on the weekend of May 30th/31st. Masses at Christ the King Parish on the Feast of Pentecost are scheduled at 4:00 PM on Saturday and on Sunday at 7:00 AM. 8:30AM, 10:30AM and 5:30 PM.
We cannot expect to be able to worship in quite the same manner as before if we wish to reduce the risk of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus. Until there is an effective vaccine or treatment discovered we will have to be prudent in observing all necessary precautions to avoid contracting the virus while participating in a large public gathering.
During the next week, the church will be measured and marked to facilitate the observance of social distancing practices. When the Church is reopened those choosing to attend Mass will be restricted to entering by the back-parking lot doors or main front entrance and to exit in the same manner. The choir door and the St. Jude Chapel doors will not be accessible.
Those who are feeling ill, or who have symptoms of fever, dry cough or sore throat should not come out to Mass.
All who attend Mass will be asked to sanitize their hands upon entering the church and to continue to wear a face mask throughout the liturgy with the brief exception of removing it to receive communion.
Not all sections of the church will be open for seating, those attending will be directed where to sit by an usher.
Missals/Hymnals will not be available for use during Mass and only the Cantor will be allowed to sing.
There will not be a procession with the gifts at the preparation rite, and collection baskets will be kept at the entrances of the church rather than passed during the Mass.
The sign of peace will be shared without physical contact. The communion procession will be regulated by an usher who will invite communicants to come one row at a time. Communion will be ministered by the clergy only and can be received only in the hand during Mass. Those who insist at their risk and that of the minister and other communicants to receive on the tongue will have to arrange with the priest for this to take place after the Mass.
At the Dismissal, the ushers will invite the congregation to exit the church row by row in an orderly manner so as to maintain safe distances and avoid unnecessary contact.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: JUST BECAUSE WE CAN DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD!
While the Church may be reopening for public worship what is most important to remember is that just because public worship is permitted does not mean that participation in it is now risk-free. Rather, the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass is still lifted by Bishop da Cunha, whose utmost concern along with that of all the priests of the Diocese, is the health and wellbeing of our parishioners. Therefore, all Masses will continue to be live-streamed and those who are at greater risk of serious illness should they contract this virus due to their age or underlying medical conditions are strongly encouraged to continue participating from home. Here at Christ the King we will resume the practice of distributing communion from 3 to 5 PM each Sunday afternoon most especially for those who would be at risk or are still justifiably uncomfortable being in crowds for any length of time.
All other parish activities other than worship will remain suspended at this time until further notice.
Praying for you and your wellbeing at this time, and with you for an end to this pandemic.
During this stressful and worrying time, having the accompaniment of another can ease our minds. Representatives of the Pastoral Care Ministry are available to listen, talk, pray, or faith share. You may leave your confidential contact information at 508-477-7700 x 42 or email us.
May 24, 2020, Seventh Sunday of Easter
Memorial Day Observance: At this time each year we observe the custom of remembering those who have died especially those who have given their lives in service to our country beginning with the American Revolution through to the most recent conflicts in the Middle East. This is also a time to remember friends and loved ones whose loss is still deeply felt and if possible to visit and decorate their final resting places. Perhaps this year we might also remember those who have recently lost their lives in the presently raging battle against a mysterious and sometimes lethal virus. Adapting a traditional prayer for the dead and for those who mourn we can pray:
Lord God , comfort those who mourn as You receive the souls of the faithful departed into the arms of your mercy. You are mercy itself, by the death of Your Son, You have unlocked the gates of life for all who believe in you; forgive the sins of all who have died in Christ and grant them a place of happiness, light, and peace in the glory of Your Kingdom forever. Amen
Preparing for reopening: Governor Baker has now given the go-ahead for Houses of Worship to reopen, and Bishop da Cunha, after consulting with the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, has decided that Churches in the Diocese of Fall River may begin to resume public worship beginning with the Feast of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30th/31st. Yet the Corona Virus still rages and is infecting people and making some very seriously ill so the reopening has to be done with great caution for the protection of the congregation and the ministers. The State guidelines say that the number of people allowed at a worship service is up to 40 % of the stated capacity of the building, which for Christ the King Church would be about 320 people at any one Mass. Yet at the same time we must provide adequate room for social distancing which may reduce this number rather substantially. When this number has been calculated it will be distributed through the website and Flock Note. So as to assure that the permitted capacity is not exceeded those wishing to attend Mass are asked to call into the office to register for a particular Mass, and when arriving at church to not be disappointed that the church is being opened a section at a time therefore familiar pews are unlikely to be available. All pew rails where people were seated must be sanitized between each Mass so it will not be practical to have people seated randomly around the nave, but rather in predetermined and limited sections. Volunteers are needed to help with the task of sanitizing the pew rails in between the Masses.
In the meantime, the Missals/Hymnals must be removed from the church as it has been deemed unsafe to have different people handle these from one Mass to another, and no one except the Cantor will be allowed to sing during Mass as there is a great risk of the virus being aerosolized during singing. The elements and vessels for consecration will not be brought forward in the procession but prepared by one person and kept in the sanctuary to minimize the danger of contamination. Communion must be received in the hand only at Mass, anyone who would insist on receiving communion on the tongue will need to arrange with the priest to do so after the conclusion of the Mass so as to reduce the danger of infecting the minister and/ or the next communicant. The “new normal” will be quite evident as hand sanitizing before and the wearing of masks throughout the liturgy will be required of all in the congregation and attendance at Sunday Masses can be permitted only by making a reservation in advance to do so. (Please see the announcement regarding when and how to reserve a place at a Sunday Mass.)
Mass Obligation Remains Lifted: Even as public Masses resume, Bishop da Cunha is continuing to lift the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for the foreseeable future so as to encourage those most vulnerable and at-risk to continue to remain safely at home connecting to the Mass by Live Stream or Television until there is a vaccine or other remedy available for this virus. Beginning on Pentecost weekend we will resume the practice of offering communion from 3 to 5 PM each Sunday for those who prefer not to expose themselves to a greater risk of infection by attending a public Mass.
Many Thanks to the Knights of Columbus: Again our Knights of Council 13388 have come forward to assist the pastor and the parish under these unusual circumstances with another $2000.00 donation. The gift will be used to purchase two high powered air purifiers for the church and to pay for the plexiglass screen that will protect visitors to the office and our staff once the Parish Office reopens on June 1st. A great debt of gratitude is owed to the K of C Council under the leadership of Grand Knight Joe Mooney for their great generosity, encouragement, and support as we move forward with the gradual re-opening of the Church and the Parish Office!
EASTER AT CHRIST THE KING
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As you visit our site, you will see that we are a vibrant parish offering many opportunities for people to live out their Catholic Christian faith. There are activities and organizations for people of every age and almost every interest. We have a food pantry, a library, and a thrift shop. We have a very active St. Vincent de Paul Society, numerous educational opportunities, social gatherings, and liturgical ministries, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! Our Mass schedule can be found in the footer, along with our location and mailing address. For office hours go to; About-Masses-Office Hours-Directions. We would love to have you join us as we listen to God’s Word and share in the Eucharist.
You can join the parish by setting up a time to come to the office. If you are registering online, go to New Member Registration, fill out the form, and hit “submit”. Someone from the parish will call you to extend a welcome. If you have any questions or comments, please go to “contact us”; all submissions go directly to the parish office.
If you live on Cape Cod for only part of the year, you are welcome to join the parish and participate in the various organizations for as long as you are here.
Rev. Edward J. Healey, pastor
The Roman Catholic Community of Christ the King Parish has as its purpose: The providing of spiritual nourishment and enrichment to its members through the Holy Spirit, in harmony with the Second Vatican Council; and the offer of welcome to all. This is accomplished by celebrating the sacraments, preaching the Gospel by word and example, and instructing in the truths of the faith. We strive to be present in a spirit of prayer and service to those in need using the talents and gifts of our individual members. We are life~affirming stewards of God’s creation striving to build the Body of Christ.
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