Pastoral Update - April 3rd

Posted by Fr. Kevin Bell on

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is an update to Saint Mary's response to the Covid-19 situation, with new links for streaming services from Saint Matthew's.

We are heartened by the news of a pending vaccine and a combination of medicines that may be a cure for even those who are very sick with the virus. I asked that all continue in their prayers for those afflicted by the disease, and to remember all those who have lost their jobs and their businesses due to the response to this threat. Pray for peace and calm during this time.

We will continue with our Low Mass schedule. Unless something changes, we expect to continue this schedule through April. We should continue to try and limit participation of any service to 10 people. 

We will offer three masses on Palm Sunday, 7:30, 9:30, and 11:00 AM. Low Mass is not as aesthetically pleasing as a High Mass with full choir and organ, but we will have to make do this year. There will be minor variations in Holy Week celebrations to accommodate our restrictions. We will still bless the palms on Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday will proceed without the maundatum, but we will still strip the altars and have a watch Thursday evening. There will be a sign-up sheet available for those who would like to spend an hour or two with the Blessed Sacrament. The Good Friday service will be at noon, but we will not venerate the Cross. Holy Saturday will also be Easter Eve, beginning at 6:30 PM. This will be considered the first Mass of Easter as it will take place following sundown. Easter Day we will have two Masses, 7:30 and 9:30. 

These updates will be made to the church calendar and put on the website. Following Easter we will consider continuing Wednesday evening Masses and revisit whether three Masses on Sunday are still required.

The same general guidelines remain in place. If you are in a high-risk category, please stay home. If you are feeling sick, even with minor symptoms, please stay home. If you stay home, please join us in Spiritual Communion using the link below or the form from the Saint Augustine‘s Prayer Book to stay united with those who are able to be physically present for the Mass: https://s3.amazonaws.com/dfc_attachments/public/documents/3217538/Spiritual_Communion.pdf   (From the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book - thanks David Neff for finding this online!)

During this time I strongly urge you to remain constant in your personal prayer, and in praying the Daily Offices (which you are praying in concert with the Anglican church throughout the world).

Some additional resources for "social distancing" worship:

St. Matthews Church Newport Beach (updates from Bp. Scarlett and streaming services):

 To Join Morning Prayer:

 To Join Evening Prayer:

Sunday Mass: Click Here to View the Livestream

Anglican Catholic Church - statement by Archbishop Haverland 

Recommended websites:

Also, on a personal note: It is important to realize that, as more tests are run on the general population, the number of cases will rise but we should also see a reduction in the death rate because of the number of people who contracted the virus with minor symptoms. It is also important to understand that some states are reporting Covid deaths as including those who have the disease at the time of death, but the virus was not the cause of death. These numbers are important to understand so that we can appreciate the real risk and plan accordingly. 

Stay safe, use reasonable precautions, and try to stay calm as well. God bless you all.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Bell

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