Cathedral Reopening Guidelines -
The Cathedral has reopened for worship in the celebration of the sacred mysteries of the altar.
An outline of how we will conduct our Masses and services of worship in the immediate future is provided for you below.
Please review it and help us to keep you safe by following it with care when we’re together for prayerful fellowship.
- 3 Masses will be celebrated at the Cathedral each Sunday at 8:00 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am. The Cathedral Chapel at Tripp Park can be reopened sometime after the next and presumably final green period has been concluded.
- No social gathering can take place before and after each Mass within the Cathedral. We will enter the Cathedral and proceed directly upstairs or to the lower chapel before the Mass. After the Mass we will exit immediately to the out of doors where we can visit a while at safe distances in front of the Cathedral or in the parking lot or at any restaurants that may have outdoor seating at those hours.
- We all will need to wear facial masks in the Cathedral. Worshippers coming without a mask will be offered one in the lower narthex in order to be able to join the worshipping community.
- Hand sanitizers will be readily available for all of us to use.
- There is restricted seating in the Cathedral and in the lower chapel. A worshipper may sit only in an accessible pew (without the red ribbon), and on one of the three blue crosses placed on each of the pews in the main area of the Cathedral. Only one cross per accessible pew is available to a worshipper in the two side section of pews in the Cathedral. One order of service with prayers and scripture readings will placed for the worshipper in the pew near each blue cross where he will sit.
- The maximum number of people in the Cathedral sitting at each blue cross is 86 (which is 21.5% of the Cathedral’s capacity); and at most 20 people at each blue cross in the lower chapel. Any overflow from the Cathedral will be seated in the lower chapel.
- Social distancing is maintained in the Cathedral by means of the blue crosses and the inaccessible pews with the red ribbons on them.
- Family members will sit three to a pew in the center sections except for small children who need to be attended to during the time of Mass. The next available pew can be used for families with more than three people present.
- Holy Communion cannot be distributed to the faithful at this time. The Act of Spiritual Communion will be offered by all worshippers instead.
- To prevent cross contamination we have been required to remove the hymnals and Mass booklets from the pews. Singing hymns in the congregation needs to be discouraged for the moment against the spread of airborne particulates possibly contaminated with Covid 19. Special procedures for the choir’s musical offering are being developed.
- Any bulletin and/or an order of service must be taken home from the Cathedral by each person using them. We are not allowed to have the papers we used during the Mass to be left in the pew for someone else to touch at a later Mass, causing cross contamination.
- The bathrooms are available for emergency purposes only as the fixtures and the handles of the various doors and the toilet seats cannot be disinfected by Cathedral maintenance staff after each usage of the facility.
- Our Sunday offerings will be placed in the basket on the way out of the Cathedral.
- After each Mass we will be dismissed from the pews one pew at a time across the whole width of the Cathedral starting from the rear as the usher invites each row to do so. A delay-staggered exit like this can help maintain social distancing as we make our way outside. We must leave the building immediately after the Mass.
- The pews at the place where each person sat will be disinfected after each Mass along with the lectern (the lower pulpit) at the altar.
- Funerals will continue to be celebrated from the Cathedral as they have been from the beginning of our shut down. The new seating arrangement for the yellow phase will now be used.
- The weekly home worship aids we are currently distributing via email each week which also contain links to PNCC masses along with Mass prayers and readings will continue to be provided for the immediate future, though for a limited period of time,
- We will maintain all the mitigation procedures required by CDC guidance and encouraged by the bishops of the Church as we reopen our churches for worship.
All of this, then, is the new virus-driven way we’ll gather to worship God as we slowly emerge from the red phase to the yellow phase of relaxed restrictions due to the reduced number of virus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
We at the Cathedral are doing our part to return to the holy work of the Church while keeping safe all our parishioners as they participate in this essential activity.
Please join with others of your Cathedral family at any of the three Masses celebrated at the Cathedral each Sunday to praise and glorify God in his holy place to the extent each of you feels you are able to do. We recognize that each parishioner has his own level of risk tolerance, and that level must respected by everyone.
God bless you all in these times and always, and please contact me via email or voicemail when unavailable with any questions or observations.