I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.
Last week we opened The Basilica for weekday Mass at noon, and had the first public Mass at The Basilica since mid-March. Speaking for myself, it was absolutely wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it was nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.
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 at 1:00pm the day before the Mass you want to attend. 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 are 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.
Last night, at a Zoom meeting with our parish leadership, we discussed opening The Basilica for a Sunday Mass. While people greatly appreciate our live-streaming efforts, we recognized that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians.
Given this, the decision was made that beginning Sunday, August 2, The Basilica will be open for one public Mass on Sunday 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 11:30 Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some these protocols 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 hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.
As I have also mentioned previously, if you would like further information about these 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.
For those, who are not able to attend Mass, I want to reiterate that, going forward, we will continue to livestream daily Mass as well as our 9:30 Mass on Sunday and our various liturgies and services.
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.
Loving God, we come to you full of anxiety about what may happen in the coming days and weeks. Shower us with the peace Jesus promised to his disciples. In this time of uncertainty and epidemic, wake us up to the reminder that we are not alone.
Even as we are asked to keep our distance from others, help us to find ways to reach out to those who need our support. We pray especially for those whose incomes and livelihoods are threatened. We pray especially for the children who will miss meals; for those already isolated, lonely and scared; for those who can not be with a loved one; and for all caregivers.
Loving God, give them your peace, and through our efforts ensure they have what they need.
Sustain, strengthen and protect all of us. Bless us as we seek to offer compassionate care and to show courage in the face of risk.
Remind us, each time we wash our hands, that in our baptism you call us to let go of our fears and live in joy, peace, and hope.
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