Parish COVID Procedures

PARISH PROCEDURES FOR MASS DURING THE TIME OF COVID

Updated 30 March 2021

The Bishop and the Governor continue to issue guidelines for the safety of the faithful at Mass in the churches in Delaware.  Please refer to the Delaware State website or the Diocese of Wilmington website for the latest COVID information. 

The COVID19 virus is extremely communicable, and the safety measures call for all of us to take responsibility for our own health and for the health of our neighbor by wearing masks over nose and mouth throughout the Mass and by observing social distancing.  Jesus tells us to love one another as He has loved us, and such measures are putting this love into action.  We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Bishop Malooly has issued guidelines which we must follow for the safety and health of all who participate in Mass. While he is maintaining the dispensation of all Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass IN PERSON, until further notice, it is, nevertheless, expected that the obligation be observed from the safety of one’s own home and by acting as though one were in the physical space of the parish church, that is, reciting the responses, standing, kneeling, and the such. To that end we will continue to provide Mass on our website.

Those who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID within 14 days are not permitted to enter the church.  If you have a persistent cough or do not feel well, please stay home.

Parishioners particularly vulnerable (over 60, existing heart or lung conditions, diabetes, or immuno-compromised) are strongly encouraged to avoid the risk of attending Mass.  You are responsible for your own health and the health of others.

With social distancing of six feet, there is room in the church for 140 people.    When the church is filled the doors will be locked. The parish of St. Jude is working hard to make sure that all who desire to attend are able to do so, safely and in conformity with diocesan and state guidelines.

To that end, we live-stream the 4:00 PM Mass each week. Should the church have reached maximum capacity, our ushers will courteously provide you with instructions on how to access our live-stream or radio broadcast in the comfort and safety of your car in the parking lot. When it comes time for the distribution of Holy Communion, you will be welcomed to form a socially-distanced and safe line near the front of the church to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.  Your health and the health of your neighbor is our first priority.

Before you leave your home to come to church, take your temperature, use the bathroom, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and bring your face mask.

All parishioners are to enter the church at the front doors. Everyone, including those in the sanctuary, is to wear face coverings.  Since no one knows who has the virus, this will protect you and your neighbor.  Children under 2 do not need to wear a face mask.  Everyone is to sanitize their hands upon entering the church.  There is hand sanitizer at the entrance.

The ushers will lead you to an available pew, seating from front row to back, depending on your arrival time.  Please follow the ushers’ instructions. All children are to remain in the pew with their parents.

The aisles of the church will be marked at 6’ intervals and parishioners and visitors will be seated at 6’ intervals from members who are not of the same household.  Gathering before or after Mass is prohibited.

The holy water fonts have been removed as have the missalettes.  There will be a basket at the exits for your offertory donations as you leave.

The distribution of Holy Communion takes place at its usual time in the liturgy. The distribution of the Precious Blood is suspended until further notice. There will be four Communion stations: two at the front and two midway. We will be forming the Communion procession in the side aisles.  Please follow the ushers’ prompts and return to your pew after you have received the Eucharist.

For dismissal from Mass, the ushers will dimiss row by row in their respective sections, directing parishioners and visitors to exit accordingly. Please follow the ushers’ prompts. There will be markers in the aisle at 6’ intervals.  The line will be single file.  Kindly proceed through the doors and to your car for a safe ride home. Gathering after Mass is discouraged.

May God bless and keep you. Please know of our continued prayers for your health and that of our nation and world.