A new video series by the Philadelphia Archdiocese will help faithful know what to expect when they return to public Masses this weekend.
The five-county area entered Pennsylvania’s “yellow” phase of pandemic precautions June 5, allowing for churches to host up to 50% of their building occupancy for worship.
The resumption of in-person liturgies “will take place with due respect for and adherence to guidelines set forth by governmental health agencies,” said the archdiocese in a June 3 statement.
Sanitation, social distancing, face masks and limiting the number of faithful at a given liturgy are all part of that strategy.
West Chester-based Ascension produced three of the instructional videos, which are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). The clips provide an overview of the current liturgical guidelines, explained by Father Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship.
The segments also feature demonstrations of how parishioners will be spaced in the pews, and how they can expect to receive holy Communion.
A second set of videos feature a compilation of testimonies from local Catholics about their excitement to return to Mass after their prolonged fast from the Eucharist during the COVID-19 restrictions. Available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and ASL, they are designed to inspire confidence and joy in returning to Mass and a sense of “rising from the tomb” with Christ as we emerge from the difficult period of lock down.
A final “Open Doors” video offers a preview of area pastors and parishioners welcoming faithful back to the public celebration of Mass, and includes a “welcome home” message from Archbishop Nelson Perez.
All of the videos are part of the archdiocesan Arise initiative, a multifaceted effort to transition parishes back to in-person worship and activities after weeks of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
A complete list of the initiative’s resources can be found on the Arise website.
Returning to Mass instructional videos for the faithful
Returning to Mass testimonial videos
Open Doors video (featuring Archbishop Nelson Perez)
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