COVID - 19 UPDATES
On Wednesday June 9th, 2020 Governor Murphy announced via Executive Order that the number of people allowed inside a building (including churches) would be limited to 50 people with the appropriate social distancing. Therefore, we will resume our Mass schedules with a limited attendance of 50 people beginning June 13th. Following the recommendations of the diocesan and parish task forces, new procedures are being implemented. Until further notice all Masses will be held at Sacred Heart Church and a revised Sunday and weekend Mass schedule (outlined below) will be in effect. The total pew occupancy at the Sacred Heart worship site is 650. Implementing the minimum social distancing regulation of six feet, Sacred Heart Church has 44 single seats, 48 couple’s seats and 23 family seats up to 5 people in each family. Thus, as safe-distancing attendance numbers are increased we can provide safe-distance seating for up to 255 people. The changes outlined in this document are necessary to accommodate and execute the stringent sanitizing procedures required for the health and safety of everyone, the anticipated reduction in attendance, and the efficient use of all parish resources.
I look forward to seeing many of your faces in the pews again when we gather together to thankfully pray for God’s continued blessings on our parish, our families and for a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With faith and trust in God’s plan for each of us -- “Do not be afraid.”
NEW New Monday – Friday Weekday Mass ScheduleThe Parish Mass schedule has been revised according to the NJ government attendance restrictions (50 people on first come first serve basis). All Sunday Masses will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church as follows:
5:00 p.m. – Saturday Vigil Mass (English)
- 7:00 a.m. – Sunday Mass (Polish)
- 9:00 a.m. – Sunday Mass (English)
- 11:30 a.m. – Sunday Mass (Polish)
All attendees must observe strict physical distancing by sitting in the space(s) marked in the pews as well as the strict procedures for the distribution of Holy Communion. Please keep in mind that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will remain in effect until further notice. I look forward to seeing you when we gather together to pray for God’s continued blessings on our parish, our families and for a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
NEW The MassbookThe Massbook for the 2nd half of 2020 is now open. Due to the health restrictions we ask that you please call the parish office and leave a message. We will return your call to schedule the Masses. As of now there will be no Masses scheduled at Christ the King Church. Multiple intentions (up to 10) will be allowed for the 9AM Mass. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
To compensate for the reduction in the Mass schedule, the 9:00 a.m. Mass will have multiple intentions (up to 10). Mass with a collective intention means that intentions from many people will be accepted for the same Mass. The collective intention of the Mass is no worse or less effective, because the power of Mass. depends not on the number of priests, but on Christ, who offers himself to the Father in these intentions. His sacrifice has infinite value and power capable of offering for all the intentions of the world. The difference between "individual" and "collective" intentions can have only a psychological meaning in the experience of Mass by those who asked for it.
Safety ProceduresOverall, all attendees must observe strict physical distancing by sitting in the space(s) marked in the pews and the strict procedures for the distribution of Holy Communion must be observed. Please keep in mind that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will remain in effect until further notice. So, if you are uncomfortable being with others, you can still keep the Lord’s Day holy by watching a live streamed Mass, praying the rosary or other devotions.
As we introduce a new normal, your cooperation to implement a safe and healthy re-opening is essential. Therefore, please cooperate with the following:
- Those in vulnerable groups should stay home
- Those who are sick or symptomaticmust stay home
- Face masks must be worn except for the very young
- Wash hands at home and sanitize hands before entering the church
- Family/household units may sit together in cooperation with the safe distance seating in the pews. As indicated above, please observe the one-person, two-person, and family seats identified
- Because of the reduced capacity, admission will be on a first-come basis monitored by the ushers
- Please remember to be courteous and realize that we are all doing our best to deal with extraordinary requirements. Do your best to maintain a safe distance at all times
- Gatherings before or after Mass are NOT appropriate and should be avoided during this time
Distribution of the Holy CommunionIn order to respect the directives and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with infectious disease specialists at St. Peter’s University Hospital, new communion procedures were developed. As notified earlier, the distribution of the Precious Blood is suspended. It is preferable and the faithful are encouraged to receive Holy Communion on the hand. However, those who prefer to receive communion on the tongue will be the very last to receive communion since the priest must disinfect his fingers after administering to each person. Please note: There will be only ONE line and two stations where the Priest and Deacon/Eucharistic Minister will distribute communion. We ask for your cooperation and patience when receiving communion; please follow the “arrows” to maintain social distancing.
ConfessionConfessions will be heard in the Sacred Heart Cry Room Monday – Saturday following the 11:00 a.m. Mass and on Wednesday and Friday evenings one-half hour before the 7:00 p.m. Polish Masses. The confessional line will form in the Chapel of Our Lady of Częstochowa (on the right side facing the altar) utilizing the six-foot safe distance marked areas.
Parish Task ForceIn line with the recommendations issued by the Diocese, the parish has formed a special Task Force to facilitate re-opening the Church for Mass. Listed below are just some of the protocols that will be implemented for your safety and welfare:
- Identify and mark seating for single person, two-person and families
- Identify six-foot intervals for receiving Holy Communion and for confession
- Sanitize high use areas within the church before and after each liturgy to include pews, chairs, etc.
- Sanitize hand rails and door handles after each liturgy
- Restroom facilities will be sanitized after each liturgy. Ushers will provide access to restroom. Volunteers are needed to assist with sanitizing church pews.
- All hymnals and missalettes are removed and stored for the duration of the pandemic.
- Establish hand sanitizing stations
- The Cry Room will not be available during any Mass
- Provide ongoing communication and reminders via parish website, Facebook, Parish App, bulletins, etc.
Visiting the HomeboundBecause of the high contagion associated with the COVID-19 and the fact that the ill and elderly are particularly at risk, regularly scheduled visits to the homebound are expected to resume when it is safe to do so. Please stay tuned for more information.
Needless to say, we are all in this together. I am confident that I can count on each and every one of you to support the guidelines needed to ensure the health and well-being of all of us. Here are just some general “Do’s and Don’ts”:
- Do bring your own mask and sanitizer for yourself and family members
- Do follow the seating arrangements in the pews or as directed by the ushers
- Do fully participate in the Mass
- Do follow the safe distance floor markers for receiving Holy Communion
- Do volunteer to sanitize pew areas after Mass
- Do Not remove your mask to pray or sing
- Do Not shake hands during the sign of peace, a bow or a nod is sufficient
- Do Not gather in groups before or after Mass
Call to Prayer
We are entrusting this whole situation to our Blessed Mother, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and encourage you to join us in praying this prayer:
Our Lady of Guadalupe, mother of God
and of the people of Metuchen:
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We rely on you, Health of the Sick,
you who, at the cross, united with Jesus’ pain,
keeping steadfast your faith.
You, Salvation of God’s people,
you know what we need
and we are sure that you will provide for us,
as at Cana of Galilee,
after the adversity of these days,
may joy and celebration return.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do what we are told by Jesus,
who has taken our suffering upon Himself
and has burdened Himself with our sorrows
to lead us through the cross, to the joy of resurrection.Amen.
Under your protection, Holy Mother of God,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, we seek refuge,
hear our prayer and intercede for us to the Father
so that we may be free from every danger,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Watch The Mass - CatholicTVNo matter where we are physically, Sunday is still the Lord’s Day, so please watch a televised Mass, and make a Spiritual Communion. CatholicTV is providing a livestream of daily and Sunday Mass in English and Sunday Mass in Spanish. CLICK HERE
Support the CTR ParishWith the suspension of public masses, especially Sundays, the main source of a parish's income has gone away. Please consider mailing your envelope to the parish office, so that we can continue to meet our financial obligations during this time. You can also sign up on parish website www.ctrmanville.com for electronic tithing through the ONLINE GIVING program, which allows you to give regularly throughout the year using your debit or credit card. We know finances are a concern, so give what your means allow to support the ongoing works of your parish and stay connected to your Christ the Redeemer family.
Please note that this is a fluid situation.We do not know how long the restrictions imposed on New Jersey residents will be in effect.Please be patient and look for regular updates from the Diocese of Metuchen.For the latest up-to-date information and resources, please visit diometuchen.org / coronavirus