A slow return to normality
Now that restrictions on indoor gatherings have somewhat eased, people have slowly begun to return to church practice. St. Mary's went from a restriction of just 69 people to 300. It would be great to report that things had suddenly bounced back and that the maximum had been reached at every Mass, but this has not been the case. The maximum at any Mass has been 160 with an average of 120 /130. This is understandable as people are still somewhat nervous coming together in numbers, and the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still suspended. Covid-19 has not gone away it still stalks us. Common sense is called for in abundance - face masks should still be worn, hands should be sanitised on entering the church and a reasonable distance from others maintained. At present there are plenty of places at any Masses in St. Mary's.
Singing in Church is restricted to a soloist, and we are asked not to join in, this is because the virus is airborne and singing expels droplets which pose a real danger as the fly in all directions. For the past forty years I have been encouraging people to sing in church and now I find myself actively discouraging it. Strange times indeed.
In St. Mary's we have begun once again to pass the collection bags through the seats. Professor Luke O'Neill on a recent Pat Kenny show interview stated that transmission risk from surface contact in negligible and on that basis, we decided to reintroduce the bags.
The Archdiocese have also installed 'Tap and Donate' machines in the church - one in the Main porch on the side, and one at the rear of the church. These are simple to use. Simply select one of the pre-defined amounts shown on the screen, or enter a different amount in the box shown. Then present your card by touching to the touch symbol at the top of the device. These donations go 60% to the Common Fund which supports the priests of the Diocese and 40% to SHARE the Diocesan development fund. Full instructions are displayed on the machine poster. There is also an online donation facility on our parish website.
Soon we will begin catching up on first Holy Communions and Confirmations, and full details are available on the parish website, as are dates and a booking facility for Baptisms.
Life is slowly returning to some kind of normality.
Mass times change
From the first weekend of October the following Sunday Mass times will take effect in St. Mary's:
Sat (Vigil) 6.30 pm, Sunday 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 noon and Sun Evening 7:00 pm
We look forward to your return!
St. Mary's Lucan