I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.
As I mentioned last week, beginning this Sunday, The Basilica will be open for Sunday Mass at 11:30am. This Mass will be low key, with just an organ or piano and a cantor. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees at this Mass to 50, but hope to grow this number in the weeks ahead.
We will also continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, with more robust music and singing ensembles. Unfortunately at this time the 9:30am Mass won’t be open to the public.
The same protocols and registration that we currently use for those attending daily Mass will apply to those who want to attend the 11:30am Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.
If you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website beginning Saturday at 12:30pm. Registration will close when we reach 50 attendees, or at 8:00am on Sunday morning. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.
When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.
When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.
While people have been very appreciative of our livestreaming efforts, I recognize that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians. And speaking personally, it will be wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it will be nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some the protocols we have developed may seem excessive, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.
If you are over the age of 65, or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would encourage you not register to attend Mass at this time. If you would like further information about our protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.
Additionally, in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the State. I will alert as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.
Gracious God, we celebrate you, our heavenly Father.
We thank you for being our provider and protector.
When sickness and disease threaten, you are our healer.
In times of distress and trouble, you are our deliverer.
Loving God, nurses, doctors and all on the frontlines, we lift them to you.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandmeic, we are all hurting
and don’t know what to do.
We pray that you will heal our hurting hearts, Lord, your creation renew;
We are depending on you God, we know you are faithful and true.
God of power and might, the whole world is at your command.
God of love and mercy, our lives are in your hands.
God of justice and truth bless your people, heal our lives and lands.
God of nations, languages, tribes and peoples and tongues,
Fulfill in us your divine purpose and perfect plans.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis, Moravian Church, Antigua
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