COVID-19 Update and Questions and Answers

The long awaited news has finally been announced; public Masses are resuming. We have missed you and are very pleased to once again offer daily and weekend masses to the faithful.

We understand that there are many questions that need to be addressed as we navigate resuming public Mass. The Archdiocese of Detroit developed guidelines for us to follow, and we have created some questions and answers so that each parishioner will have a good understanding of what to expect, and feel comfortable with their decision regarding attending Mass at St. Timothy.

As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the following guidelines will be implemented to help ensure the health of all attending. The faithful must adhere to the following guidelines for the health of all:

• Face-coverings/masks are to be worn in and around the church
• Physical distancing will be practiced in the church and on the church property
• The maximum attendance cannot exceed 25% of the total capacity for the church. For St. Timothy, the maximum attendance will be 75 people, and we can allow for an additional 25 people in the side alcove, near the kitchen.

1) How can I help to ensure my safety and the safety of my fellow parishioners?
• Along with giving glory to God and helping every soul within our reach attain eternal life through Jesus Christ, the safety of the parishioners and staff is of utmost importance. To help ensure the health and safety of all in attendance, please allow a distance of at least 6’ from people from other households as you sit in church and as you walk in and around church.
• We recommend that you bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you to use throughout the Mass as needed and as you prepare to receive Holy Communion.

2) Should everyone attend Mass?
• Those older than 65 years old with a compromised health condition(s) or caring for the sick in any way, are encouraged to stay home
• Anyone who is ill, or has a temperature, cold, cough, etc., should definitely stay home as an act of justice to the whole community
• It is understandable that there are concerns for safety, please be aware that if you fall into any of the categories above, the Archdiocese of Detroit has dispensed the faithful from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass until September 6, 2020.  Those who cannot attend Sunday Mass, must observe the Lord’s Day and are encouraged to spend time in prayer on Sunday, meditating on the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection. An excellent way to do this is through participating in a broadcast of the Sunday Mass.

3) Are there changes to how I will receive Holy Communion?
• To the extent possible, those in line for Holy Communion should maintain a 6’ distance between each other and those in the pews
• Distribution of the Precious Blood is suspended at this time
• The faithful have a right to receive Holy Communion in the hand or on the tongue. Those who choose to receive Communion on the tongue may be asked wait until parishioners receiving Communion in the hand are finished, or be directed to the deacon or a minister of Holy Communion assigned to accommodate this method. If the minister, deacon, or a minister of Holy Communion touches the hand or tongue of the parishioner, he/she will pause and sanitize his/her hands before continuing.

4) What if I’m not comfortable wearing a mask, have breathing issues or compromised health and don’t want to wear a facemask?
For the protection of all, cloth face coverings that cover your nose and mouth (masks) are to be worn by everyone approaching church and inside church (except for those under 2 years old).

5) With the changes regarding distancing, how will I know where I can sit and walk?
The floor where people will line up may be identified to allow for proper spacing between persons. Instructions, either verbally or with assistance from ushers will be shared.

6) What other changes will there be with Mass:
• The collection baskets will not be passed from person to person. You will see that there are marked collection points within church for the faithful to drop in their offerings.
• Holy Walter and Baptismal fonts will remain empty
• To reduce any droplets from our mouths from singing, singing will be at a minimum if at all. Additionally, since masks must be worn at all times, singing will be difficult.
• The invitation to exchange the Sign of Peace will be omitted
• You may find that rows of parishioners will be dismissed rather than allowing everyone to leave at the same time. This will assist in maintaining the 6’ distancing guidelines.
• There is a possibility that additional Masses will be scheduled to allow for the faithful to attend Mass while maintaining adherence to the distancing guidelines. At this time our daily and weekend Mass schedule will remain the same.

7) Are there going to be any changes to cleaning and disinfecting the church?
• Anyone who assists in the set-up and/or clean-up for Mass will wash their hands before and after their respective task
• Vessels used at Mass will continue to be cleaned with soap and hot water
• Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own bottles of hand sanitizer to use prior to Holy Communion
• Hymnals and missalettes will no longer be used as they cannot be properly cleaned
• Following each liturgy, there will be an effort to disinfect items used by the public, such as door handles and bathrooms. Please consider volunteering to help with this process if you are healthy.
• You may see that doors and windows of the church are propped open to allow for fresh air to circulate within the church

The restrictions that we are following are difficult, but they afford us the opportunity to reopen. We ask for your continued patience as we make changes as necessary to maintain the safety of all.

We look forward to celebrating together the glory of the Risen Lord, who will deliver us from all evil, all illness, and all weakness.

May God Bless us all!

COVID-19 What you need to know about returning to Mass Learn More