Important Details for Returning to Mass
Returning to In-Person Mass –
Slow, Steady, and Never Rushed!
The Celebration of an Indoor Mass at
St. John's on Saturday, July 4 at 4:00 PM  

Directives and recommended best practices have been issued by the Archdiocese of Boston, including the establishment of a Re-Opening Advisory Committee.* We appreciate their gift of time and expertise. They have approved of our guidelines while clearly stating that they believe the celebration of Mass outdoors drastically reduces the possibility of spreading COVID-19.  
*Canton Catholic Community Re-Opening Committee:
Daniel Muse, M.D., Charles Doody, Chief, Canton Fire Department,
Edward Walsh, Canton Building Commissioner, Mary Levrault, parishioner,
Dr. Chris Fleiger, Principal, St. John the Evangelist School, Rev. Thomas Rafferty, Pastor, and Deacon Dan Nelson

Please note that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been extended indefinitely by Cardinal Seán. And of course, if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, PLEASE STAY HOME!     

Those in vulnerable populations are highly encouraged to remain at home and join via livestream on Facebook or via YouTube . We would love to see you but value your health and safely first and foremost.

If you are planning to attend the indoor Mass on Saturday afternoon, please read all of the details outlined in this email.

We welcome you with great joy!
Reservations Required
Please read carefully.


We are permitted to open the church under very strict COVID 19 guidelines outlined by the state which include a maximum capacity in the church in addition to social distancing requirements. So, at St. John's we are limited to 80 people and will be using an online registration portal for those interested in worshiping in the church.

Reservations will allow us to eliminate long lines and needless drives to the church, minimize confusion and questions, and most important, worship safely together. (see below for registration process)
Online Registration Process

You must register for each family member from your household who will be attending the Mass. Please complete the required information for EACH family member.  In other words, if a family of 4 is planning to attend we need to receive 4 separate registrations.

The reasons for gathering this information for each individual attending Mass are to
  • ensure we don't exceed the capacity limit in the church,
  • facilitate the check-in process before Mass
  • abide by contract tracing guidelines, if necessary.

Tickets are not needed for this event. Once you submit your completed registration form you will receive an email confirmation of your attendance. Only 80 participants will be permitted into the church for Mass. Once that limit is reached no more registrations will be accepted.

Make your reservation by clicking  HERE.
Arrival Procedure

  • Arrive early in order to be seated. Seating will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of Mass. Doors will be closed and latecomers will NOT be permitted to enter once Mass begins.

  • Before exiting your car, please put on your face mask. Children age 5 or under, and those with medical exemptions, are not required to wear a mask.

  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet as you approach and wait in line to be checked in.

  • Only necessary items should be brought into the church, such as keys and hand sanitizer. 
Admittance Into the Church

After making your reservation we will receive that information and create a check-in list. Without a reservation you will not be permitted to enter. Everyone must enter through the front doors of the church ONLY and at the end of Mass exit via the front doors. We need to minimize contact with others and keep the lines moving in the same direction.

  • Masks are required (except for children 5 years and under or those with medical exemptions) at all times... in line and in church.

  • To gain entrance you will need to have a temperature check, using a non-touch infrared thermometer. If your temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, unfortunately you may not enter the church.

  • Ushers will be seating everyone; follow their lead to your designated pew. Choosing where you would like to sit will NOT be allowed. The church will be filled from front to back, side to side. Pews have been marked for social distancing, allowing all to remain 6 feet apart from others in the church.

  • Members of the same household are permitted to sit together and are not required to follow the 6-foot distancing rule when seated.
A Few Changes to the Mass
Please note the following changes have been made to the celebration of Mass:

  • There will be no gathering procession.
  • The congregation is NOT to sing. FUN FACT: the velocity of air emitted while singing is equal to that of a cough or sneeze!
  • Baskets will not be passed at the Offertory. Your offering may be placed in a designated receptacle as you enter or exit the church for the financial support of the parish. We strongly encourage Online Giving
  • There will be no hand-holding during the Our Father or hand-shaking during the Sign of Peace.
  • There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.
Holy Communion Procedure
Parishioners may decide not to receive Holy Communion if they feel the risk is too high, and that decision will be honored and respected.

Communion will be distributed at the END of Mass as you leave the church. Ushers will direct the Communion line to respect 6-foot distancing.

  • Use personal hand sanitizer or hand wipes prior to getting in line to receive Holy Communion.
  • The communicants and the priest will wear masks.
  • Neither the priest nor the communicants should wear gloves during the distribution of Holy Communion, per health guidelines.
  • Walk in procession to receive Communion keeping in mind the 6’ social distance rule. 
  • Fully extend your arms (to maintain maximum distance) with hands cupped as the priest/Eucharistic Minister drops the host into your hands.
  • After communicants receive the consecrated host in their hands, the communicant will step to the side, lower their mask, consume the host, replace their mask, and leave the church via the front doors.
  • In the case of unintentional hand-to-hand contact, the priest/minister will sanitize their own hands immediately.
  • Communicants are asked to go directly to your cars.

We respectfully request that everyone follow the health and safety guidelines, especially once Mass is over. Exposing other attendees could result in the future shut down of our public Masses, and the resulting need to quarantine all who attended a particular Mass. 

Immediately after Mass, please return to your car and follow the volunteers' directions for exiting the parking lot in a safe and orderly manner. Please keep an eye on the children as cars are exiting the parking lot.
Returning to Mass - Video 
Returning to Mass - We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. As we begin to return to Mass, the Archdiocese of Boston has provided guidelines to create a safe, comfortable, and reverent environment

Please take a few minutes to watch this important information.
Offertory Collection
We are so very grateful for your continued financial support of the parish. Since we are unable to take up a collection in the traditional way at Mass, you may make a donation to the parish via one of the following methods using your smartphone:
QR Code
Envelope or Cash (after Mass)

More details will be provided in the Worship Aid for Mass.
Please Note
Anyone who is sick should not attend Mass in person . The Mass will be live-streamed on Saturday on Facebook and later posted to our YouTube channel.

Again, Cardinal O’Malley has dispensed everyone of their Sunday obligation indefinitely. With this in mind, all people who are 65 and older or who have existing health concerns are respectfully asked to stay home and not attend Mass in person until further notice for their own safety. Likewise, people who are not able to wear a mask for health reasons should also stay home.

We care about all of you and we are working diligently to comply
with all of the guidelines currently in place to allow us
to worship in-person and remain safe!
Thank you for your continued patience.
Restrooms, door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized between Masses but if you need to use the restroom, we ask that you sanitize it after use. The only restroom that will be available during Mass is located in the narthex of the church as there will be no access to the lower church during Mass.

We are trying to limit use of the facilities for  emergencies only  since the restroom cannot at this time be cleaned after every use, as recommended by the guidelines. If you need to use the restroom, there will be paper towels and sanitizing spray to use for cleaning after use.
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