Beginning this weekend we will be able to return to most of our pre-pandemic practices for celebrating Mass on Sunday. Once again we will be able to sit closer to one another; we will be able to sing; and we will be able to have adults in liturgical roles. Although our returning marks a movement toward what we have been familiar with for Mass, we will still have to do a few extra things and still do without a few other things.
We will still have to continue a few behaviors as we ease back to a level of better health and safety. We will still have to wear our masks over our nose, mouths, and chins. We’ll also have to have better ventilation with our fans moving and our windows open in both our churches.
We’ll have to do without a few other things for a little while longer too. We’ll have to go without holy water in the fonts. Although we can have an opening and closing procession, we will still have to do without an offertory procession. We’ll still have to refrain from physical contact at the sign of peace and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. For a little while longer we will have to go without distributing the Precious Blood and having children altar servers.
Finally, we will have some new things. We will have a new Mass setting to sing called the Mass of Joy and Peace by Tony E. Alonso. Don’t worry, the hymnals will be back. There will also be a more graceful way of taking up the collection. These were discovered during our pandemic Masses which improved the liturgy and so there’s no reason to get rid of them. It is also a sign that we can build a post pandemic parish that excels beyond the pre-pandemic parish.
Although Archbishop Blair’s general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass in person on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will no longer be in force, those suffering from serious pre-existing conditions making them more susceptible to COVID-19; those who are ill or homebound or who are caregivers in close contact with someone who is; those who have tested positive for any contagious disease, including COVID-19; and those who are in quarantine due to exposure to any contagion, or who reside with someone who is quarantined may very legitimately decide not yet to attend church since the risk of infection, though diminished, still remains. Even though watching Mass online or on TV is not a valid substitute, livestreaming will continue as an outreach to those who are curious about our faith.
New Directives for Liturgies in Churches
of the Archdiocese of Hartford
May 10, 2021
In light of recent developments from the civil authorities regarding COVID-19 measures,
Archbishop Blair is pleased to announce two things:
- As of May 19, 2021, the COVID-19 restrictions and procedures first implemented on May 27, 2020, in the document Opening Churches For Public Worship In The Archdiocese Of Hartford are hereby revoked.
- As of Saturday, May 22, 2021, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass in person on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will no longer be in force.
Therefore, as of the weekend of Pentecost Sunday (May 22/23), there is an obligation once again to participate at Mass. However, since the risk of infection, though diminished, still remains, the following individuals may very legitimately decide not yet to attend church: those suffering from serious pre-existing conditions making them more susceptible to COVID-19; those who are ill or homebound or who are caregivers in close contact with someone who is; those who have tested positive for any contagious disease, including COVID-19; and those who are in quarantine due to exposure to any contagion, or who reside with someone who is quarantined.
It is recommended that churches that have introduced livestreaming during the pandemic continue to offer this as an option for the benefit of the homebound and those still unable or afraid to return to Mass at this time. Pastors should remind parishioners, however, that for those safely able to attend, watching Mass online or on TV is not a valid substitute.
The Sacrament of Penance can return to normal with the understanding that both the priest and penitent must continue to wear a mask. At the discretion of the Pastor, confessions can take place within confessionals, reconciliation rooms, or in another suitable location, keeping in mind the importance of good ventilation.
Church halls and spaces can all be used, in keeping with any and all guidelines provided by the State of Connecticut.
A Pastoral Letter on “the importance that full participation at Mass has for the spiritual life of all believers,” was jointly written by the Latin Bishops of Connecticut and issued on May 10th alongside the new directives.
Forward with Faith
Archbishop's Annual Appeal
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Saturday 3:00 p.m. Saint Teresa of Avila
Saturday Vigil 4:00 p.m. Saint Teresa of Avila
Sunday 8:00 a.m. Church of the Nativity
10:00 a.m. Saint Teresa of Avila
12:00 p.m. Saint Teresa of Avila
Weekday Masses 8:30 a.m.
Monday & Thursday Saint Teresa of Avila
Tuesday & Friday Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
48 East Street (Route 132)
Bethlehem, CT 06751
Saint Teresa of Avila Church
146 Main Street South (Route 6)
Woodbury, CT 06798
Weekday Masses are cancelled when Region 14 delays, cancels or is remote only during the winter months.
The Mass intention for any cancelled Mass will be moved to the next available Mass.
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates every employee and volunteer in our parish participate in the Virtus Protecting God's Children for Adults and completes a Background Check prior to beginning their work in ministry. Every student in our Religious Education Program must attend a Child Lures Program during classes once a year.