“As of May 29th, masks are no longer required for vaccinated people in the State of Massachusetts. The State does advise that non-vaccinated people continue to wear masks.”
The Archdiocese of Boston
A Message from Father Bradford
My dear people,
Neither testing nor vaccinations are a substitute for physical distancing and mask wearing in public places. These are two different categories which have in common the goal of minimizing the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 virus. Testing and vaccination are optional for most people, and parishes will not be policing people arriving for Mass. But masks and social distancing are observable.
In light of these facts, and out of consideration for anyone who has ongoing health issues, we will continue to wear masks at Mass and practice social distancing.
Some other developments include:
- The dispensation for coming to Mass has not yet been lifted in the Archdiocese of Boston. (The Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter has lifted the dispensation, putting the Sunday Mass obligation back into effect for its parishes and people, with provisions for those at risk.)
- It is no longer necessary to regularly disinfect surfaces.
- Missalettes and hymnals may be used and kept in the church.
- Permission for congregational singing resumed on May 23rd. Continue to wear a mask while singing. This is important! The Covid-19 virus spreads especially through airborne vapors.
- Altar servers may be used.
- Regarding the Mass offertory collection, we will continue to have an alms basin for contributions, or you may send them by mail.
- At the exchange of peace in the Mass, the rubrics have always made any greeting of fellow parishioners optional.
- Communion continues to be in one kind only.
- Although permission will now allow for food and drink to be served at parish activities, we will not begin coffee hours until consideration has been given to address issues such as volunteers to do the set up and clean up, location (i.e. in the undercroft, or out-of-doors in good summer weather), and the types of food (including packaging) and beverages to be served.
We will continue to follow contact tracing protocols. As at any time, parishioners who feel sick should stay at home. If after attending Mass, a worshipper has Covid-19 symptoms, that person is asked to notify the priest. Notice of possible infection (but not the name of the person) will be posted on our parish websites.
It is understood some people are ready to take off their masks and sit near one another while others are not ready to do so. Although the ever-increasing number of vaccinated people and the current downward trend in infections certainly are a light at the end of the tunnel, we must not be blinded by the light. With this highly contagious virus, still spreading rapidly in many parts of the world, we have learned to be cautious.
Faithfully yours in Christ,