Four days celebrating the Mass of Christmas Day!
A brief survey suggests that many people hope to come to Mass at St. Anthony's and at St. Paul's Chapel this Christmas. How wonderful! Happy news!
Practical problem: we still have limited seating capacity. Therefore:
We will continue to celebrate Christmas Mass during the weekend after Christmas, to give people more options and, hopefully, to spread things out a little. Here is the complete schedule:
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2020
- 5:00 P.M. - Mass of Christmas Eve - St. Anthony's
- 8:00 P.M. - Mass of Christmas Night - St. Paul's Chapel
- 10:00 P.M. - Mass of Christmas Night - St. Anthony's
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2020
- 9:00 A.M. - Mass of Christmas Morning - St. Paul's Chapel
- 10:00 aA.M. - Mass of Christmas Morning - St. Anthony's
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2020
- 5:00 P.M. - Mass of Christmas Day - St. Anthony's
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2020
- 7:30 A.M. - Mass of Christmas Day - St. Anthony's
- 9:00 A.M. - Mass of Christmas Day - St. Paul's Chapel
- 10:00 A.M. - Mass of Christmas Day - St. Anthony's
As you can see, that gives you nine Masses to choose from!
IN ADDITION -
On Sunday, December 27, Friar Bob will remain in the nave of St. Anthony's from Noon until 6:00 p.m. to distribute communion quietly. If you still should not attend Mass with crowds but desire communion, you may receive privately in this way. No reservations or anything, just come - although I do ask you to respect other people's privacy and to avoid creating a crowd. I believe that this is a more appropriate alternative than a drive-by communion service.
Is all this allowed? Yes. Actually, we have done this every year. In past years, we celebrated Christmas Masses at Northern Lakes and Lakeland (now Aperion) nursing homes and at Cameron Woods Senior Living Community some time between December 20 and December 29, as those home's schedule allowed. This year, sadly, the parish will not be able to celebrate Christmas Masses outside our actual church buildings - but we still have latitude to offer more Masses.
The survey suggests that the three Masses of Decemberr 24 will be the most crowded. If you are worried about crowds, please consider coming to one of the other six Christmas Masses. Thank you and God bless you. May the Lord of Life keep us all safe!
- Our posted capacities in keeping with covid-19 safety protocols are 215 people at St. Anthony's and 100 at St. Paul's.
- Bishop Kevin Rhoades has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for an indefinite time ("until further notice"). Christmas is truly a holy day, a holiday, a happy day - but is not a day of obligation this year.
- You are, of course, free to come to as many of these Masses as you choose! If you come to a mass on December 24/25, you are very welcome at any Mass on December 26/27. We are hoping that attendance will spread itself out naturally so we never have to turn anybody away. Hopefully.
- This decision entails that we will not celebrate the Mass of the Holy Family this year.