Welcome back! It has been encouraging to see many parishioners and visitors returning to weekend Masses now that the vaccinations programs are available and effective. As a pastoral reminder, though, COVID-19 precautions remain fully in place until further revisions are issued by the State of NH and from the Diocese of Manchester.
Two weeks ago, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments notified the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that the guidelines it issued last year for celebrating the Holy Week and Easter liturgies are applicable also to this year. Prefect Cardinal Sarah writes, “We are aware that these decisions taken have not always been easy for pastors or the lay faithful to accept; however, we know that they were taken with a view to ensuring that the sacred mysteries be celebrated in the most effective way possible for all communities, while respecting the common and public health.”
Holy Week liturgies, then, like everything else, will look different this year as the pandemic continues. At this point, it appears that the 100- maximum seating capacity in the church will apply. Seating for the Palm Sunday and Easter Masses will require advanced reservations, and seating for the Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday service will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation!
Fr. John Mahoney