PENTECOST SUNDAY
Outdoor Mass
Sunday, May 31 ~ 10:00 AM at St. Gerard's
Important Details for Returning to Mass
Returning to Mass – Slow, Steady, and Never Rushed!
We are excited to share with you the information regarding the  public celebration of an outdoor Mass at St. Gerard’s on Sunday, May 31 at 10:00 AM.  

Directives and recommended best practices have been issued by the Archdiocese of Boston for the celebration of public Mass during this time of pandemic, which also follow the recently issued health directives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We plan to start slowly in offering public celebrations of Mass, with parishioners’ health and safety being of utmost importance, and will make adjustments as needed along the way.

Fortunately, the weather for this weekend is expected to be pleasant and mild. An outdoor Mass for our first weekend back together will enable us to better follow the required social distancing. Preparations are ongoing with the staff and various members of the parish’s re-opening committee on how to best respond to this evolving and fluid situation. 

If you are planning to attend the outdoor Mass on Sunday, please read all of the details as outlined in this email.

We welcome you with great joy!
About this Outdoor Mass Event
This is PHASE 1 of our parish reopening. There are new protocols that all parishioners must follow to attend Mass. PLEASE REMEMBER your safety and health is the absolute TOP PRIORITY

There is an indefinite dispensation issued from Cardinal Seán so you have no obligation to come to the outdoor Mass - but you are most welcome!

We plan to use an outdoor sound system that will help ensure the Mass will be heard whether you decide to remain in your cars for Mass or opt to sit outside in chairs. You may tune to 89.5 FM on your car radio to hear the Mass from your car or you can try using a smartphone app such as "Radio FM" or "TuneIn Radio."
What You Will Need to Bring for Mass
chair  if you choose to sit in the front area of the parking lot (seating will not be provided)

Mask  - Everyone one needs to wear a mask, with a few exceptions:
  • In the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the lector must respect strict social distancing. They should not wear masks in the sanctuary. (Altar Servers are not permitted at this time.)
  • Children under the age of two should not wear masks.
  • Parents should judge for children between the ages of two and five whether they should wear a mask.
  • All people who claim an exemption because of health can forego wearing a mask. They do not have to provide documentation, but please see the note at the bottom of this document. 

Hand sanitizer  to be used before receiving Holy Communion.

It is totally acceptable to wear a hat for sun protection during Mass!
Arrival Procedure
Please arrive EARLY for Mass and  REMAIN IN YOUR CAR UNTIL A VOLUNTEER greets you six feet from your window. The driver of the car should put their mask on  BEFORE rolling down the car window and speaking to the volunteer.

Every family will be given a copy of the Breaking Bread book for Mass, which contains the Order of Mass, Readings and Music for Mass as well as a bulletin to follow along and participate. Given that the books are no longer permitted in the church, please keep yours and use it each time you come to Mass.
Parking
Volunteers will be available to direct you regarding parking.  
Chair Seating:
If you are planning to sit in the section for chairs, please park all the way at the very back of the parking lot. Then proceed to area marked off for chair seating.
Car Seating:
If you prefer to remain in your car, please park in the designated parking spots in the middle of the lot and remain in your car for the duration of Mass. Tune to 89.5 FM to hear the Mass on your car radio.
Mass Procedure
A few changes to the Mass:

  • There will be no gathering procession.

  • There will be no holding of hands during the Our Father. 

  • There will be no invitation to participate in the Sign of Peace.

  • There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.
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:
Text-to-Give
QR Code
Envelope or Cash (after Mass)

More details will be provided in the Worship Aid for Mass.
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.

  • 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, before returning to their seat. 

Volunteers will direct as needed.

In the case of unintentional contact, the priest/minister will sanitize their own hands immediately.
Sending Forth Dismissal from Mass
We respectfully request that everyone follow the health and safety guidelines provided, 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.
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 website and 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 do not wish to lose even
a single person to this terrible virus!
Restrooms
Lower church hall restrooms will be available. However, we are trying to limit use of the facilities for emergencies only since they cannot at this time be cleaned after every use, as recommended by 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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