DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE
1004 Harbor Hills Drove
Marquette, MI 49855
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in Jesus Christ.
Let us go to the altar of God! The absence of the public Celebration of Mass has weighed heavily on our hearts. With joy we are embarking on the second phase of reopening by resuming the public celebration of Mass. Resuming the public celebration does not mean a return to normal. As we strive to extend the love of Christ to one another, we still need to observe social distance precautions. At the same time participating in the public Mass entails the risk of contracting COVID -19.
Let us all do our part to reduce that risk as much as we can. Social distance does not mean that we distance our hearts from one another. Our hearts can still touch. When we assemble, remember those around you and greet each other warmly. Let us be united in Christ and in heart as one People of God. As part of the third phase, hereby, I give the directive to open the public celebration of Mass in our Diocese starting on Tuesday May 19th 2020 as a prelude for our celebration on the weekend of May 23rd and 24th. If the weekend Masses are arranged in the Church, the accommodation will be limited as we strictly follow the six feet distance from one another. Please follow the direction of your pastor for the arrangement.
As you come to attend the Mass, please remember to wear a mask, for your safety as well as that of your neighbor. As the priest is remaining far enough he need not wear the mask during Mass except for the distribution of the Communion. In order to reduce the risk of contamination you are requested to avoid the public restroom in the church or the hall where the Mass is celebrated.
It is my advice to those of you who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, chills, headache, sore throat etc. may remain at home. If you also have travelled to any hotspot of COVID-19 and required of 14 day quarantine, please avoid attending Mass till you come out clear.
The congregational sign of peace is to be omitted. The omission of singing may be considered to shorten the time of the Mass to reduce potential exposure. However, singing is not prohibited. A cantor is recommended and the Organist can play the music.
Hymnals, Bibles, prayer cards, etc. should be removed from the pews. Holy Water is to be removed from Holy Water fonts. Parishes may make other safe provisions for the distribution of Holy Water making available in the individual bottles. People also are free to bring their own water and get it blessed from the priest. The Sacrament of penance should be available for people; but the regular confessional in the Church should be avoided. It is better to choose a particular corner in the Church with open air for it. Please follow the direction of your Pastor for this regard. Parish gatherings which involve food and drinks need to be avoided, including the funeral luncheons.
Sincerely Yours in Christ
Most Reverend John F. Doerfler, STD, JCL