(For those originally scheduled for First Communion during April-May 2020)
First Communion Masses will be scheduled here at OLG throughout the late summer and fall so that those who wish to have their children receive First Communion during this time will be able to do so.
As previously announced, Fr. Ed has decided that all who were registered in our parish sacramental preparation programs and scheduled to receive First Communion during April-May 2020 will be admitted to First Communion even if they have not completed all of the requirements. (Fr. Ed presumes that everyone who has not completed all of the requirements would have done so but for the coronavirus pandemic.)
With the current state law and diocesan directives in effect for public Masses, all First Communion Masses during this time will be outside in the school field, celebrated in a very simple manner and with no music. The number to receive First Communion at each Mass will be limited – advance registration will be required. Click here to register your child to receive First Communion at an upcoming First Communion Mass.
Please note the following requirements for First Communion Masses outside in the school field –
- Everyone must bring his or her own chair for Masses in the school field – no chairs will be provided for Masses in the school field (so that we do not have to clean and sanitize chairs before and after these Masses).
- Face coverings are strongly recommended, especially when physical distance of at least six feet is not possible (such as when walking to and from one's place).
- Physical distancing of six feet or more between persons from different families is required. Members of the same family may be seated together but should maintain at least six feet of distance from other families.
- Everyone is asked not to engage in any physical contact with anyone else while on church property. Greet one another keeping physical distancing – for example, with a kind word, a bow of the head and/or a wave, and not with elbow bumps or anything like that. Everyone is directed not to hold hands during the Our Father.
- Only one person at a time is allowed to use the restrooms. Those who think it likely that they will need to use the restroom during Mass are encouraged not to come to Mass at this time.
- For the time being, the Body of Christ is distributed to the faithful at the conclusion of each Mass (rather than at the regular communion time). Communion from the cup is suspended indefinitely. Please follow the usher’s instructions and keep physical distancing of at least six feet as you come forward for Communion. We ask that for the time being, everyone receive Communion in the hand. (Whenever someone receives Communion on the tongue, the communion minister stops distributing Communion for a moment to re-sanitize his or her hands before continuing to give Communion to the next person.)
- The faithful should depart after receiving Communion and saying a brief prayer of thanksgiving.
Please inform any guests whom you wish to invite to your child’s First Communion Mass of the above directives. If there are persons whom you would like to invite but who probably would not obey the above directives, it is probably best not to invite them.
Parents, please note that you will need to teach your children how to receive Communion. This is normally covered by catechists in the final classes during April and at the First Communion rehearsal, neither of which occurred this year because of the coronavirus.
Please also note that those who wish may wait until after the coronavirus pandemic has passed to have their children receive First Communion so that it can be celebrated in the normal way (with a celebratory liturgy including music, without physical distancing, etc.). The option for First Communion now through the fall is just that – an option for those who do not wish to wait for First Communion.
Please be aware that as we journey through the coronavirus pandemic and infection rates ebb and flow, in-person Masses may have to be suspended from time-to-time, in which case any First Communion Masses scheduled during such time would have to be rescheduled.
First Communion Masses will be scheduled during the late summer and fall and will be announced in our parish email bulletin, the OLG Messenger, and here on the parish website. Click here to register your child to receive First Communion at an upcoming First Communion Mass.
Questions may be addressed to Norma Huerta at [email protected] In terms of actually receiving a response to your question, please remember that more than ¾ of our parish staff have been furloughed or laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, we are not able to respond to the vast majority of the many phone messages and emails coming into our Parish Office. This will remain our reality until we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and our parish finances recover sufficiently so that we can start calling furloughed staff back to work, which most likely is still months away.