Vaccination Policy for Volunteers (Oct. 15, 2021)
The Diocese of Hamilton has provided a revised vaccine policy. Here are the highlights:
The Diocese requires proof of vaccination for those engaged in liturgical ministry: extraordinary eucharistic ministers, altar servers, lectors, volunteer musicians and cantors, and ushers. Proof is also required for volunteers who have a high level of contact with others, either in the parish offices, the parish centre or church. As for those who volunteer remotely, or whose duties are fulfilled essentially apart from others while on site, no proof is required (e.g. sacristan in church alone cleaning sacred vessels, restocking candles, etc.).
The receipt that is provided after the second dose of vaccination is acceptable proof, as it indicates that 2 doses have been received. Other provincially authorized forms of proof may become available in the near future, and they will be recognized.
For those who do not wish to provide proof of vaccination, in order to continue in your volunteer position, you must provide proof of a negative rapid COVID-19 test. Our parish will be acquiring a rapid test system, and administering and monitoring results, free of charge. Test results are available after approximately 20 minutes, and would have to be received in time for the Mass or event.
These tests would have to be taken within 24 hours of the time you are volunteering. For example, if you are an usher at the 11 a.m. Mass, which involves approximately 90 minutes of service, your test should indicate that it was completed no earlier than 1 p.m. of the previous day.
Attending Mass or other worship services does not require proof of vaccination. Parish halls may be used for catechetical purposes (e.g. RCIA), religious activity generally (e.g. prayer groups, bible studies, etc.), and for administrative meetings, but not for social gatherings. Proof of vaccination is not required for attendees.
**As proof of vaccination cannot be collected and stored (this would be a violation of privacy laws), Father or his delegate(s), must be shown proof each time that you arrive to serve in your ministry. If no proof is available, and no rapid test has been completed, you will be unable to participate as a volunteer.**
In light of this information, we are asking for volunteers to become Father’s delegate at each Mass. Any volunteers scheduled for that Mass, would come to you and show their proof of vaccine, or their test results. If we get enough volunteers, we could rotate through the weeks, unless you attend one Mass all of the time, and don’t mind doing this work for us. If you can help us, please let Father know, or Karen Kiely, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy is in effect as of November 1, 2021, and is subject to change at the discretion of the Diocese.
We may have further instruction as this policy unfolds, and we thank you for your understanding.
How we do Mass, gather for fellowship, etc. Sunday Mass will remain online (updated Oct. 15, 2021)
Seating for Mass as per capacity rules set by the Provincial Government: no set percentage of capacity, but a requirement that all in the worship space be able to social distance from people from another household. So, this will mean seating in alternating pews (don’t sit in yellow-marked pews), and in the long central pews, keep two meters/six feet between persons of different households. This will translate into seating for 100 comfortably, and with a reasonable and effective limit of 150 depending upon how the congregation breaks down into households in attendance.
Sanitation and hygiene: Masks to be worn in the pews. We will cease wiping down the pews after each liturgy. Hymnals will be returned to the pews, and other printed materials are now allowed.
Choirs are still not permitted: just a single instrumental musician and a cantor are allowed.
Changes to the Mass:
We will resume the communion dialogue with each person coming to receive the sacrament, i.e. the celebrant will no longer raise a single host prior to the communion rite and say, “the body of Christ.” He will now say this to each person receiving, as will any assisting Eucharistic minister.
Reception on the tongue is allowed. However, those wishing to receive on the tongue must come forward after all others who have received in the hand; they must come only to the priest celebrant.
Social gatherings that follow a religious service (e.g. funeral receptions in the parish centre, coffee hour following Mass, and so on), are not allowed. Outdoor gatherings are limited by the ability to social distance — so events in the parish garden have a reasonable limit of 100. Small meetings (e.g. CWL executive) may be held for purposes of administration if virtual meeting is not practical. Catechetical activities (e.g. RCIA) and other “religious” activities are permitted (e.g. bible study). Social distancing and other health and safety protocols to be followed.
For the immediate future, we will continue to stream/offer a recording online of the whole of the Sunday mass.
Confessions will now be available at their usual scheduled time of 4 to 4:45 p.m. Saturdays. A ventilating fan has been installed in the confessional in the church. Penitents are to wear masks in the confessional; as will the priest-confessor.
The dispensation from the Sunday obligation is still in force.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word – ONLINE AGAIN FOR 2021-2022!
Limited seating at our Sunday liturgies, and an understandable anxiety over little ones being able to sit through the whole of the Mass has meant many of our families with young children have not been attending; and those who come also have missed out on a special time with our children’s catechist, Katelyn–it’s been suspended as part of the our COVID-19 protocols.
Katelyn has responded to their need to hear and understand God’s word on their terms despite the restrictions we currently operate under as a parish ministry. So, she’s going online!
The Saint Vincent De Paul Society continues its work
While its stores have been closed, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) has continued its valuable and life sustaining work through the whole period of the COVID -19 lockdown. While observing the necessary protocols, our parish Vincentians have done visits and provided material help to people of our community in need. That need is sure to grow as the economic impact of the pandemic and the lockdown manifests itself in lost jobs, closed businesses, etc. So please remember the society and its need for financial support through the end of the lockdown period and into the summer months. Parishioners can put a little extra in their offering, and designate it for SVP and the relief of those in need. If you are in need of assistance, or know someone who is, please call the Parish Office at 905-628-2880 and follow the auto-attendant menu.
For what the bells tolls
First parish of the diocese, Hamilton 1827
Mass and Devotions times
SATURDAY/SUNDAY MASS AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE AND RUMBLE.
Weekend Mass Times: Saturday at 5 p.m.; Sunday at 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. (social distancing seating – approximate capacity 150-175), plus ministers seated in separate area)
Weekday Mass Times: Wednesdays at 8 a.m.; Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. (until September 9);
Beginning September 14: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8 a.m.
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Saturdays 4 to 4:45 p.m. in the church confessional (now ventilated); also by appointment
Children’s Liturgy: Suspended until further notice
Public Rosary: following the Wednesday morning Mass.
Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction: from end of Wednesday morning Mass to 7 p.m.
(suspended over summer school break; recommences September 15, 2021)
Perpetual Help Novena: following the Thursday morning Mass; next cycle commences September 16, 2021
Compline (Night Prayer): Suspended until further notice. First Sundays of the month, 7 p.m.
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