Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I wrote in our May 12 online bulletin, this has been a strange Easter season to say the least. Normally, after we have done our Lenten work, Easter and its hope are celebrated. Perhaps our hope and joy have been tempered by this pandemic. Many have found themselves living locked up so as to protect themselves. Unfortunately, some are locked up in fear as well, much like Jesus’ disciples in the upper room after his crucifixion. Just as it was so important a message for his disciples then, Jesus’ words now, “Do not be afraid,” are equally as important. As we prepare to celebrate the Ascension of Jesus this coming Sunday, we do so in a public way for the first time in months.
I pray that you will continue to seek the Lord and participate in the life of the parish in whatever way is best for your situation. We have received word from the Archdiocese with new directives. Please read on.
Public Masses to resume as of May 19 – in moderation!
- Archbishop Vigneron has announced that public Masses can resume, with certain safety guidelines, as soon as May 19! In his own letter of May 12 the Archbishop wrote, “The Mass you may attend in the weeks ahead will look and feel quite different from the Mass you remembered from two months ago.”
- I have met with the parish pastoral staff and the Leadership Team to determine how we here at the Mother Church will implement the Archbishop’s and USCCB’s guidelines for the safety of all who attend.
- Beginning Tuesday, May 19 at 8:00 AM (regular time) we will celebrate public Mass and continue with daily Mass Monday – Saturday at 8:00 AM. Mass will be celebrated in the main part of the Cathedral (not in the Eucharist Chapel) until further notice. Please use the North doors.
- Our first public Sunday Mass will be May 24 at our regular 11:00 AM time. Please enter through the main doors along Woodward Avenue and exit per instructions.
- Beginning the same day there will be a new 9:00 AM Mass that will be livestreamed. This Mass will continue through September 6, 2020.
- For now, confessions are by appointment with Fr. J.J. Mech. Please call Christine Broses to make your appointment at 313-883-2863.
Guidelines for Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament Liturgies
All participants (except for the presider) are required to wear a mask (homemade masks are fine).
If you are over 65; if you have a compromised health condition; if you are caring for a person who is sick; if you are experiencing a fever, cough, any respiratory issues or any other symptom, if you are unable to wear a mask, please stay home! This is a moral issue in that we do not want to put another person at risk. Further, the dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is granted to all the faithful through Sunday, September 6, 2020. Televised and livestreamed Masses are still available.
Proper Distancing and Personal Care
Although the church is open for prayer, we must still take precautions. To maintain proper social distancing the Cathedral will be limited to about 160 people. Based on the Archbishop’s and USCCB’s directives the following will assist all to safely pray together again.
- Social distancing must continue. There should be at least 6 feet between persons from different households.
- Attendance is first-come, first-served. Doors will open ½ hour before Mass.
- If crowds do show up, social distancing must still be in play outside the doors.
- If you do get to attend and demand is high, consider in your charity allowing others the chance to attend on other days.
- On Sundays, please enter through the main doors along Woodward Avenue. Signs at all other doors will direct you to the main doors. Ushers will be at the doors and in the main aisle to assist with seating while maintaining distancing.
- On weekdays, please use the north doors in the plaza/garden area.
- Please bring face-covering/masks which are to be worn by the faithful around and in the Cathedral.
- Rows of pews will be closed off to maintain spacing. Those living in the same house may sit together. We all have one goal; to encounter the Lord in the Eucharist as brothers and sisters.
- Restrooms will be monitored to limit the number of people in them to help maintain proper distancing.
Sign of Peace
To respect social distancing guidelines, the exchange of the Sign of Peace is being omitted. Related to this, please refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer in effort to maintain proper distancing.
Reception of Holy Communion
At all Masses, and in agreement with a suggestion from the USCCB, Holy Communion will be offered immediately after Mass. We will have Ministers of Holy Communion at the front and rear of the Cathedral as before. When coming forward for Holy Communion please keep the following in mind:
- You are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer with you to sanitize your hands before presenting yourself for Holy Communion.
- Ushers (at a safe distance) will direct you to one of the ministers as our normal practice, although instead of forming two lines side by side, please form a single line, maintaining 6 feet between you and the person in front of you. Follow the markings on the floor.
- Lower your face mask and remove gloves when approaching the minister of Holy Communion.
- While 6 feet from the minister, please bow to reverence the Eucharist BEFORE you approach the minister to receive Holy Communion.
- After receiving Holy Communion, you may return to your seat for silent meditation or you may leave at this time. Use the door nearest to you. If leaving the cathedral, please take appropriate time to pray in your vehicle.
Thank you for keeping up your generous stewardship in order to allow us to continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baskets will be placed at the entrance of the Cathedral rather than the usual practice of passing the basket among the pews. To make a financial donation, also please consider going on the website and make a recurring online donation. Thank you!
I, Deacon Mike, and the entire Cathedral staff continue to hold you up before the Lord Jesus in every prayer lifted. May our Lady of Lourdes, St. Anne, and Blessed Solanus intercede for us that we may be filled with grace and peace. Please be safe, and I hope to see you soon!
Fr. J.J. Mech
Rector, The Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament