Sunday, March 22, 2020
Dear St Laurence Community,
I have received additional instruction from Bishop Malloy regarding the Diocesan response to the coronavirus update. Health authorities have instructed a strict limit of 10 persons maximum for any gathering. This directive applies to the Sacramental celebrations of weddings, baptisms, and funerals, if they are to proceed as scheduled including gravesite services. These events will have to be postponed should any party NOT consent to abide by this requirement.
All quinceaneras will be postponed until further notice.
The Bishop has instructed that no public Masses are to be held until further notice. At this time, distribution of Holy Communion and the administration of the Sacrament of the Sick are limited to emergency situations. This decision results following the guidance of the health authorities. Other efforts to distribute communion are strictly prohibited.
With regard to Holy Week:
- There will be two Masses celebrating Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord at St Laurence WITHOUT the presence of St Laurence faithful. The first Mass will be in English at 8:00 am. The Spanish Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 am. Both Masses will be live-streamed.
- The Chrism Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Holy Thursday by Bishop Malloy at St Peter Cathedral Parish WITHOUT the presence of the faithful. The Mass will be live-streamed and the Holy Oils will be distributed at a later date.
- Bishop Malloy will also celebrate The Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 pm WITHOUT the presence of the faithful. This Mass too, will be live-streamed from the cathedral. There will be a bilingual celebration of The Mass of the Lord’s Supper at St Laurence at 6:30pm as scheduled WITHOUT the presence of St Laurence faithful. The Mass will be live-streamed. Please be aware that the Mass will not include the washing of the feet and the Blessed Sacrament will be reposed in the Tabernacle without the customary procession to the altar of repose.
- The Good Friday liturgy will be celebrated by the Bishop under the same conditions as outlined above at 2:00 pm, live-streamed from the cathedral WITHOUT the presence of the faithful. St Laurence will celebrate the Passion of the Lord at 3:00 pm in English WITHOUT the presence of St Laurence faithful. It will be live- streamed. No other gatherings of any sort will be allowed.
- St Laurence will live-stream the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night on Saturday evening in English at 7:30 pm and in Spanish at 9:00 pm. The Vigil Masses will be modified in form and WILL NOT include the presence of St Laurence faithful. Both will be live-streamed. This of course means that those preparing themselves for the Sacrament of Confirmation will not be confirmed during this mass. You will have the opportunity to be confirmed by the Bishop on a further date.
- Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord Masses will be celebrated in English at 8:00 am and following in Spanish at 9:00 am and WILL NOT include the presence of St Laurence faithful. Both will be live-streamed.
While it may be devastating to us, as a community AND as individual parts of the Body of Christ, to be denied the opportunity to come together to celebrate our Salvation through Jesus Christ and to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist during this Most Holy time of the Church’s liturgical year, let us each offer our personal sacrifice to God. May He heal our world. May He guide us through the days ahead. May He bring us closer to Him in faith, hope and love. Forever and ever. Amen.
Supporting you with my prayers,
Fr. Andrew Mulcahey Pastor, St. Laurence