Dear Parishioners and Parish Family,
As of June 5 - 6, the Archdiocese of Newark has updated the directives for all parishes in the Archdiocese. The whole instruction can be viewed on the Archdiocese website, www.rcan.org/covid19.
As of June 4, 2021, for us here at Mount Carmel Parish, some of the directives which affect us the most are listed below:
Cardinal Tobin and the Bishops of New Jersey are reinstating the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation effective June 5/6, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
• Churches and parish facilities may return to 100 percent capacity with no social distancing for both indoor and outdoor services and activities.
• Parishioners who are vaccinated, are no longer required to wear a mask. It is not required for parishioners to show proof of vaccination.
• Anyone not fully vaccinated is encouraged and should wear a mask. Any vaccinated person preferring to wear a mask should feel free to do so.
• Churches and meeting spaces should continue to be sanitized after each liturgy, event, or meeting.
• Processions may take place at any liturgy.
• Collections can be taken up with long-handled baskets, as we do.
• The Sign of Peace should be offered but continue to be made without physical contact.
• Communicants will continue to receive Communion in the hand. Unvaccinated will continue to receive, and wear a mask, they lower their masks to consume the host, then replace their masks. No masks are required for vaccinated individuals. Those wishing to receive on the tongue may do so by coming forward at the end of the communion line.
• Hymnals and reusable booklets are permitted for use.
• Bulletins and other handouts may be left for parishioners to pick up or they may be handed out by ushers/greeters.
Priests do not have to wear masks, except, they must wear masks when distributing Communion.
Lectors and Cantors
• Lectors and cantors who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask.
• When giving out Communion clergy must sanitize their hands AFTER they themselves consume Communion and BEFORE they distribute to the assembly.
Livestreaming may continue for those who are ill and cannot attend Mass; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus or another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility and those with serious underlying health conditions. All others are once again under the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
Please feel free to continue to wear your mask, even if fully vaccinated if you feel the need. I hope and pray things will continue to ease up as we enter the summer season and remember our summer vacations are not a vacation from Church.
Sincerely in the Lord,