We are filled with joy and gratitude to God that public Masses resumed at St. Christopher Parish on Saturday, June 6th. It is a tremendous gift to be back in Mass. There are several changes that are in place for the time being as our parish follows all diocesan directives for public Mass. At the same time, we will uphold and strengthen the sacredness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is our entrance into the heavenly sanctuary and the Holy of Holies.
Thank you for cooperating with the instructions for Mass. As always, if you have questions please contact our office.
- The Sabbath obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains suspended.
- We are able to fill our church to 50% capacity while continuing social distancing efforts.
- Facial coverings are required for persons 2 years of age and older, unless a breathing difficulty prevents wearing one.
- Please enter church through the front doors only. Parishioners with mobility restrictions can use the side door.
- A basket will be available for offertory donations. We will not take up the collection during Mass.
- Please maintain an approximate 6 foot distance between groups. Please be flexible in where you will sit.
- In the event we reach capacity and additional worshippers arrive, we will invite them to participate in Mass by staying outside the doors or trying to attend a different Mass time.
- Approximate 6-foot distancing should be maintained in the Holy Communion line and while entering and exiting the church.
- Both the front doors and the side doors can be used for exiting.
- We will be disinfecting pews after Masses. After Mass ends, you may stay in the pews for a Prayer of Thanksgiving.
- To help expedite pew cleaning, congregants should leave the kneeler down where they sat.
- We will have musical accompaniment but parishioners should refrain from joining in singing the hymns at this time.
- Missalettes are available at the entrances for you to take and keep. You may also bring your own books of the Mass readings, such as Magnificats. Phones or tablets are not permitted during Mass.
** People with COVID-19, related symptoms, or recent virus exposure, must remain at home. Please refer to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services for more information.
A Pastoral Note about Returning to Holy Mass
Reading news of infection rates and death tolls throughout the world has been a sorrowful experience. We have learned to be prudent in taking many precautions to protect our health and the health of others. However, we also want to guard ourselves from panic which steals our peace, erodes our trust in God, and scares us into making unreasonable choices.
Our parish is taking every reasonable precaution to make our Eucharistic gathering as safe as possible. We must also not forget that Mass is in the house of Almighty God whose providential grace is ever present. We have entrusted our parish to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and we beseech St. Michael's protection at every Mass. There are parishioners with serious underlying health issues, or who live with others who have them, which might warrant their continued absence from Mass and other public gatherings. Yet for most of us, we must not let pure fear keep us away from the grace of the sacraments. We proceed with great care, but we shouldn't postpone our spiritual life to some future day when 'everything is back to normal', since such a day might not exist.
Mass orients our lives towards eternity and gives us the grace to get there. This pandemic has taught us that life is fragile and uncertain. Mass is where we fill our souls with the life that the world can't offer - the life of Jesus Christ our Lord, which never diminishes or fades away!