The Archbishop has announced that the Diocese of New Westminster will move into Phase III of Reopening from Sunday, August 16. This means most importantly that public celebration of the Mass, under strict protocol, may resume, along with other onsite activities, again under strict protocol.
As I’ve written before, Trustees have agreed that we shall have a gentle “re-entry” at St. James’. The main change for us at the moment will be that the 9:00 am Sunday service in church will be a Said Mass, with effect Sunday, August 16. Until the Labour Day weekend at least, this pattern of Sunday worship will continue: 9:00 am Said Mass in church, 10:30 am Liturgy at Home via Zoom. It will be essential that people notify the Parish Office ([email protected], 604-685-2532) of their intention to be present at the 9:00 am service.
Trustees intend to monitor the situation, as we become used to the new protocols and restrictions, with a view to deciding how and when to return safely to two Sunday Masses in church, how and when the Daily Office and public weekday Masses in church may resume, and when other parish activities may take place in person. Trustees will also need to consider how best to continue and develop an online presence, even when there is a 10:30 am service in church.
When the 10:30 am Solemn Mass does resume, it will for the foreseeable future have a much simpler format: there will be organ music and one (or possibly more) cantor(s), but there will be no congregational singing. The ceremonial at the altar will take into account the need for physical distancing.
Everyone on our parish email circulation list will shortly receive an invitation to respond to an electronic survey (which will be anonymous) as we seek to “take the temperature” of the congregation in this regard: we know some are eager to return to church as soon as possible, whilst others, for very legitimate reason, will prefer to continue online worship. Please respond to this survey when it comes, as the feedback will inform Trustees in their decision making. Please feel free also to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Every blessing, Fr. Kevin
Download the service booklet for Sunday here: Liturgy at Home Pentecost 9 Sun August 2 2020