Reopening of Public Masses
We are filled with joy to be able to celebrate the
Holy Mass with you!
The following guidelines are only for St. Martin of Tours Parish. They are designed to aid you in your return to regular attendance at Mass either on Sunday or weekdays. When you come to Mass and have additional concerns or questions that are not covered here, please ask.
Returning to regular attendance
1. Once we are allowed to return to Mass, are we obligated to be there?
No. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass is still in effect.
2. Will I still be able to watch the live streamed Mass from the parish?
Yes. For the time being, Masses will be live streamed from the church.
3. I’m an older person and I want to return, is there any reason I should not come to Mass?
We encourage older parishioners, especially with pre-existing conditions to exercise caution and consider doing one of the following:
continue watching the live-streamed Mass.
come to daily Mass.
If you are in good health and are not experiencing anxiety, feel free to join the assembly in a designated seat.
4. My whole family will be coming to Mass, will we be allowed to sit together?
Yes. In fact we encourage families living in the same household to sit and remain together.
5. I’m coming alone, is there going to be a seating area for individuals?
Yes. Ask the ushers where individual seating is located and we should be able to accommodate your needs.
6. Will I need to sign-up to attend Mass?
Yes because of the size of our parish we are asking everyone to sign-up ahead of time. We are excited that FlockNote has added a NEW FEATURE for us to use to sign-up for our Masses. A FlockNote email/text will be sent out to all parishioners with a link to sign-up. It will also be posted on the website under Reopening of Mass. There you will type in your name, contact info (if you are not a member of FlockNote) and number of attendees under the selected Mass. Then SUBMIT. You still have the opportunity to call the parish office, 301-990-3203, to sign-up if you are not able to do so online You will also be able to call the parish office to reserve a seat at 301-990-3203. Seating will be first come first serve. Continue to check our web page and Father’s weekly FlockNote for updated information.
7. Have the Mass times changed?
Yes, the tentative daily Mass schedule is:
Preparation before Mass
1. Is there anything I need to know before I arrive?
Yes. As will be evident when you enter the Church, things will be a bit different. Most of us have had to deal with changes to places of business already. The same is true with coming to Church. Before you come, we ask that you do the following: Take your temperature(s), bring face covering(s). No one will be admitted without a covering. The only exception to this are children under the age of two. If you have your own hand sanitizer, bring it and use it just before entering.
2. Before I go into the church is there anything I need to be aware of?
Yes. First of all, we ask you to arrive early. About 10 to 15 minutes at least will be helpful to us. Be aware that there may be some delays as people sanitize and try to keep appropriate distances from each other. We ask you to sanitize your hands before entering and to do this either using your own sanitizer or that of the church in full view of the ushers. Also, please try to use the bathroom before you leave your home. Restrooms will have limited access.
3. What about inside? Will there be changes?
Yes. Please follow the directions of the ushers from the parking lot to an appropriate seat. Due to state social distancing requirements we ask that people not congregate in the narthex before or after Mass. No child will be admitted without a parent present.
You will notice the following in the Church:
- No Holy Water
- No Hymnals
- Rows of 3 or 4 chairs for seating
- Tables with large baskets at the exits for your offertory contribution
- Tables in the front at communion stations.
The Celebration of Mass
1. What about the Mass itself? Will there be changes?
Yes. You will notice that Sunday Mass will have more the feel of a weekday Mass with simple music. Also, parts of the Mass will be different: There will be no processions or a collection taken during Mass. We will not have the Sign of Peace. We ask that people not hold hands during the Our Father. Distribution of Holy Communion will be a little different and only under the form of Bread.
2. How will the distribution of Holy Communion be different?
First, ushers will invite rows to come forward. This is to aid in social distancing.
When you approach:
- The minister will say “The Body of Christ.”
- You say “Amen.”.
- You will be given the Host. You step to the side where there is a blue X on the floor, remove one side
of your mask
- You consume the Host.
- You replace your covering and return to your seat.
For those of you with young children receiving, have them receive first. They may have trouble lowering the face covering and may need help lowering and recovering their faces. We ask that for hygienic reasons everyone receive in the hand. If your conscience forbids this, you may receive on the tongue but please note that because you choose to do this you may endanger the minster, the minister will immediately stop and sanitize his hands. We ask that those receiving on the tongue come up to receive Communion after the rest of the congregation has received. For those not receiving Holy Communion, we ask that you try to remain in your seat. This includes young children. Due to issues with distancing, no blessings will be given at Communion time.
3. How will we exit after Mass?
We ask you to be patient with this process. Ushers will guide the flow of people out of the building. We ask you to distance yourselves as you leave.