Updated Guidance for Masses, Parish Ministries
and Celebrations of the Sacraments
Updated August 13, 2021
During the pandemic we the faithful have made every effort in the Diocese of Raleigh to exercise charity and compassion while safeguarding the health and welfare of one another. These actions have necessarily included separation from one another and limits on how many of us may gather for the liturgy. The pandemic presents a unique opportunity to give even greater witness as a Catholic community of believers. May our continued return to Mass provide us with even greater awareness of the beauty and wonder of our faith and the importance of our relationship with one another as the body of Christ.
Bishop Zarama has continued to dispense the faithful from their Sunday obligation. While this dispensation is applicable to all, it is continued primarily for the elderly, sick, those with pre-existing health conditions or other vulnerable people.
As more of the general population becomes vaccinated and federal and/or state COVID-19 restrictions are eased, parishes are encouraged to do the following:
Refrain from Communion from the chalice and/or shaking hands during the Sign of Peace.
Take additional precautions when distributing Holy Communion, including frequent use of hand sanitizer by Eucharistic Ministers.
Continue to maintain a section of seating in which strict social distancing and mask wearing protocols remain in place to accommodate non-vaccinated or other vulnerable people.
Consider vaccination as an act of charity to help end the pandemic, protect our vulnerable neighbors and keep our communities healthy.
Be mindful of additional local health guidance related to COVID-19.
Here at St. Brendan, two sections are available for “strict social distancing and mask wearing protocols to accommodate non-vaccinated or other vulnerable people.” These sections are the two “corner” sections that are closest to the long walls on either side of the sanctuary, on the far right (choir) and far left (bell tower side) as you walk into church from the Gathering Space. The rest of the church (the two center sections on either side, the two “angle” sections on either side, and the parish hall for overflow if needed) are unrestricted seating in every pew as before the pandemic and “no mask mandate/optional mask wearing" for those who are fully vaccinated.
"Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown.
Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.
Christ of the mysteries, I trust You to be stronger than each storm within me.
I will trust in the darkness and know that my times, even now, are in Your hand.
Tune my spirit to the music of heaven, and somehow, make my obedience count for You." ...