Covid-19 Precautions

Here is a letter from Father dated November 23, 2020 regarding the latest updates on the Covid-19 precautions as they relate to our worship:

My Dear People,

When St Lawrence Church was reopened for Sunday Mass (June 14, 2020) we placed some health protocols on our websites. Now that we have entered the coldest months of the year (and with the Covid-19 metrics indicating a continuing surge of this extremely-contagious virus), it is necessary to remind our people of those protocols and more recent developments. Some of what follows repeats our June 13, 2020 notice, while some instructions are new. Please read carefully.

Mass is inherently a high-risk activity, given that it involves people gathering together indoors for an extended period of time. Volunteers and money spent are making churches as safe as possible, but it is still safer to stay home. We will respect anyone’s decision to stay home. Remember the obligation for Sunday Mass remains dispensed indefinitely in the Archdiocese of Boston. (The dispensation, however, has been lifted in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.) Many thanks to our members who have contributed [$675 to date] to the cost of cleaning supplies and air purifier equipment in the effort to keep St Lawrence church safe.

If you are 60 years of age or older, or have ongoing health conditions, you should consider avoiding Mass for the foreseeable future. And if you are not feeling well or have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19, you must stay at home. If after attending Mass you become ill with Covid symptoms, it is your responsibility to notify us so we may report the incident, (but not the names of any person who is ill) on our websites and to the local department of health. We have an obligation to support contact tracing.

If you decide to attend Mass, please do not arrive early, or enter the Church while cleaning is in progress. Entering early will delay or compromise the cleaning being done after the 9am Mass. Bring your own hand sanitizer/wipes. (Bringing your own disinfectant materials is a recommended extra precaution.) Face masks are required as absolutely necessary at all events on the properties of the Archdiocese of Boston, including parish grounds. These masks must be worn at all times except when removed temporarily for reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Communion on the tongue is still not allowed. (Prior to administering Communion the priest disinfects his hands and assumes a face mask. You should know that a temperature check of the priest and those assisting him at Mass is also required.)  Enter the church from the parking lot using the left side doors (nearest the rectory). After Mass exit the right side doors into the parking lot. Maintain at least six feet of social distancing, and have two empty pews between you and the next worshippers. (The pews have been roped off accordingly.) Family members living in a common household may sit together. Congregational singing is still not permitted. Windows and doors should remain open during Mass, whenever possible, so please dress warmly. (You might consider sitting near one of the floor registers. The heat will be on!)

These rules are to be reiterated at each gathering, (and at each Mass a specific protocol is given just prior to the administration of Communion.) Local law enforcement has the ability to levy fines for non-compliance of Commonwealth regulations. The Archdiocese of Boston also has authority to temporarily close one of its buildings should a deep cleaning become necessary. (This would involve extra expense and also possibly make the church unavailable for our use for a period of time.)

While these protocols may be inconvenient and exasperating, we are grateful that in this extraordinarily dangerous pandemic we still have the opportunity to offer Mass in corporate worship. Blessings to you all and best regards.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Father Richard S. Bradford