Let the little children come to me
We are very grateful to the Lord that, at last, our parish community may reunite for public worship. When the current restrictions eased on May 25, and now we can gather for Mass again, we need to understand that things will not immediately “go back to normal.” The local authorities in our region announced the expectation of multiple phases when beginning to ease restrictions occurs. Concurrently, an archdiocesan team has been planning for liturgical celebrations in the future, considering any new guidelines. Our Lady of the Wayside as a parish residing in St. Mary’s County can reopen for public worship with certain restrictions still in place. Thanks to many of our parishioners and their support, our parish can provide a safe environment for the reopening during this challenging time. Our daily masses have resumed beginning Monday, May 25. The Pentecost Sunday will mark the first weekend of our public celebration. The following restrictions will be still in place:
SOCIAL DISTANCING IS IN PLACE – The six feet separation restriction is required. Everyone must sanitize their hands upon entering the church/parish hall at the available sanitizing stations. You are to wear a face mask, as recommended by the CDC. If you are in a vulnerable category (i.e., older adult, 65 years and older; person who is immunocompromised), you may desire to remain home during the initial reopening. Anyone who is ill, or suspects he or she is ill, should refrain from participation in public activities, including Mass.
ATTENDANCE AT MASS IS LIMITED – It is expected that restrictions for any large gatherings will remain in place. However, our plan includes how parishes will allow worship in the church while adhering to guidelines in place by local jurisdictions at a given time. Our Lady of the Wayside is allowed to open at 50% capacity. However, due to the size of our church, that allowed capacity is not possible. In the case when there are not enough seats in the church, there are an additional 30 seats in the parish hall where the Mass will be live-streamed, and parishioners will be able to receive the Holy Communion after the Mass at the door of the church. There is also the possibility of remaining in the vehicle during the Mass and participating in it on LiveStream. Again, after the Mass, parishioner may receive the Holy Communion at the door of the church. Please, keep the social distancing rules in mind during the distribution of the Holy Communion.
CHURCH SEATING IS LIMITED – Only every other pew is available for use. There may be only two persons per pew; however, a family may occupy the entire pew. Hymnals and other paper materials in the pews have been removed.
DISPENSATION FROM SUNDAY AND HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION – the faithful are dispensed from the obligation of attending the Sunday Mass or a Holy Day of Obligation. It is because of the limited number of faithful who might be able to attend Mass and gather, and too, recognizing that those in a vulnerable category may choose to remain home. Our Lady of the Wayside will continue to provide a LiveStream Mass at https://olwrcc.org/live/
LITURGICAL CHANGES WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT – For those able to attend Mass, similar practices like those in March will remain in place, e.g., distribution of Holy Communion under one species, no exchanging of the sign of peace, no holy water fonts, etc.
new mass & confession schedule
Monday – Friday
saturday vigil mass
8:00 am; 9:30 Am; 11:00 pm
3:00 – 3:45 pm
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm