Rebooting the Liturgy
As we reboot our liturgy we will be keeping the following principles at the forefront of our practice.
- We continue to be concerned about the poor and vulnerable among us. We are called to take special care of the vulnerable in our midst, especially during this time of the pandemic. As the United States Bishops remind us, “A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.” (USCCB Website).
- We are all doing the best we can as we adjust to changing circumstances. We are all in different places regarding this time of transition. We want to empower people to make their own decisions (while always expecting the needs of others). God has given us the gift of freedom to be used for the benefit of all (See USCCB Website – Rights and Responsibilities).
- We will follow the best scientific guidance available to us. Faith and reason go together. (See this interesting article on our Faith and science). As encouraged by the Diocese of Green Bay, we will continue to follow the best practices we can as our knowledge develops. COVID rates continue to go down in our area as vaccination rates increase. Precautionary measures used previously are no longer required. While some caution, particularly for the vulnerable, is still needed, the guidelines are changing. This is good news for all of us.
As we try to balance these concerns, we are making some changes to how we will celebrate the liturgy. The ones that will be most obvious are:
- For the next several weeks, our 5 pm Saturday liturgy will have a focus on protecting the vulnerable. We are strongly encouraging everyone who attends this liturgy to continue to wear a mask to create the safest possible environment for our vulnerable brothers and sisters.
- At the 8 am and 10 am Sunday liturgies, masks are welcome, but not required. The newest guidelines point out that people who are fully vaccinated have a minimal risk of contracting or spreading COVID 19 and many members of our community have been vaccinated. You are free to determine whether or not to wear a mask and where you would like to sit.
- We will continue to have a section with social distancing available in church as well as seating in the gathering area for those who desire to sit there.
I’m sure things will continue to change as we learn more and the summer progresses. Hopefully, the situation will continue to improve. May God continue to bless us as we begin our summer!