COVID-19 PARISH UPDATES
Last Revised March 26, 2021
- Hand sanitizer is available at all doors to the church and Newman Center
- Disposable masks are available at the center doors to church.
- Those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are asked to refrain from coming to Mass at this time.
- The Sunday Morning 10am Mass is Live-Streamed on our parish facebook page each week. Visit facebook.com/sttomsbg to follow along.
SATURDAY MASSES WITH STRICT PRECAUTIONS
- Entire church is sanitized prior to the Saturday evening liturgy.
- All parishioners are expected to wear masks.
- Social Distancing will be observed, with seating in every other pew.
- Full musical accompaniment, but with no congregational singing.
- Reception of Holy Communion on the hand is expected by all.
- Ministers will wear masks during the distribution of Holy Communion.
SUNDAY MASSES WITH MODERATE PRECAUTIONS
- Music with congregational singing. Worship aids provided instead of hymnals.
- Face coverings required by order of the Governor.
- Social Distancing maintained in the sections of the Church with pews. Please refrain from sitting in the rows marked as closed.
- The sections of the church with chairs will use every row for “Family & Friends” who are already gathering with each other outside of Mass or who have had the vaccine/already had COVID-19 and are comfortable with this arrangement.
HOLY WEEK LITURGIES
- All of the Liturgies of Holy Week, including all Easter Masses, will be liturgies with moderate precautions.
- The 10am Mass on Easter Sunday will be Live-Streamed on our parish Facebook page at facebook.com/sttomsbg
- The liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday will be streamed from Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral.
- Parishioners who are not comfortable attending an Easter Mass with moderate precautions are invited to attend one of the weekday Masses during Easter Week to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
- Sunday through Friday, all confessions are held in the confessional in church.
- A solid barrier has been placed over the screen to limit air exchange between priest and penitent when confessing anonymously.
- An air purifier has been installed which constantly cleans the air in the confessional. The entire volume of air is purified approximately every 12 minutes.
- Individual penitents are limited to a 15-minute maximum time in the confessional, which is the threshold which constitutes “exposure” that has been established by the Health Department.
- Confessions on Saturdays are held in the Zaccheus Room (across the courtyard from the church) where 6 feet of distance can be maintained at all times.
- Individual confessions incorporating social distancing can be scheduled at any time upon request.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Are reservations required to attend Holy Mass?
A. No, reservations are not required at this time.
Q. What if the Church is full?
A. During the BGSU semester, our 10am Mass on Sunday often hits capacity inside the Church. Those who arrive after capacity has been reached are invited to Seton Hall where they can follow along virtually. Holy Communion is brought to all those in Seton Hall. We have never reached capacity at our Saturday evening Mass and there is plenty of room available at both of the Sunday evening Masses.
Q. Why are you offering Holy Communion on the Tongue?
A. The universal norm is to receive the Sacred Host on the tongue and the faithful are not to be denied this legitimate option. Having consulted with the Office of Worship as well as with several local medical professionals in Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio, Father Jeff has been assured that there is no greater risk of viral spread when receiving Holy Communion on the tongue than receiving on the hand.
Q. Why are you requiring Holy Communion in the Hand on Saturdays?
A. Though we have been assured that there is no greater risk with Holy Communion received directly on the tongue, there are still a significant number of parishioners who are uncomfortable with the practice. At our Saturday Mass with Strict Precautions, we are expecting that everyone will receive on the hand for the sake of those concerned, so that they may receive Holy Communion with serenity.
Q. Why are we not distributing the Precious Blood from the Chalice?
A. The Church has always taught that we receive the entirety of Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity even if we only receive the Consecrated Host, or only receive from the Consecrated Chalice. The Risen Lord cannot be divided. Out of an abundance of caution, we have suspended the distribution of Holy Communion from the Chalice during this time to prevent the sharing of germs.