Church of the Good Shepherd
Parish Guidelines for Recommencing In-Person Worship
Effective June 1, 2020
Public Masses will recommence at Church of the Good Shepherd and throughout the Diocese of Greensburg on Monday, June 1, the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. However, there will be significant differences between these Masses and what we were used to here at Church of the Good Shepherd. These policies are the adaptation and application of the Guidelines for Recommencing In-Person Worship issued by the Diocese of Greensburg that appeared in last week's bulletin. With your help, we will be able to once again join together as a community to give praise to God.
Please note that ALL CATHOLICS in the Diocese of Greensburg continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and will be dispensed for the foreseeable future. Bishop Malesic will continue this dispensation so long as the need exists. Public Masses will continue to be live-streamed from Church of the Good Shepherd, the Diocese of Greensburg, and other parishes in the diocese.
In light of this, if you feel vulnerable due to age, health, or other risk factors, you may continue to stay home.
If you are sick, or someone else in your household is sick, or you know you have been exposed to COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME. This is no different than what has been 'normal' even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cleaning -- In accord with Diocesan policy and CDC guidelines, all high-touch areas will be sanitized after each Mass, and will be washed more extensively weekly. These high-touch areas include the Sanctuary, chairs in the Nave, door handles, and bathroom fixtures and toilets.
Masks -- All children and adults attending public Masses or visiting for private prayer at Church of the Good Shepherd MUST WEAR MASKS that cover the nose and mouth while in the Church. Acceptable masks include dust masks, surgical-style masks, a handkerchief or scarf tied around the head, or any kind of homemade masks. (Children under age 2 are not required to wear masks, per CDC guidelines, due to suffocation risk. While it may be difficult to convince a young child to wear a mask, it is encouraged to do so.)
Ministers functioning within the liturgy (e.g. cantor, lector, priest) are not required to wear masks while carrying out their liturgical ministries, but must wear a mask if returning to a seat in the congregation. I am requesting that Altar Servers also wear a mask throughout the Mass.
Social Distancing -- It is necessary to remain 6 feet apart while in the Church. Seating has been rearranged to facilitate this. Families (or anyone living in the same household) may sit together. Please keep four chairs between your household and others in your row. Please DO NOT congregate in the narthex
Except for the front row of chairs, your loose kneeler can be found under your own chair. If you use the kneeler, please place it on top of your chair when you leave the Church. This way, those cleaning will know which kneelers need to be sanitized.
Distribution of Holy Communion -- During Communion, all Ministers of Holy Communion (including the priest) are to wear a mask. Those receiving Communion should continue wearing masks in the Communion procession until they have reached the Minister of Communion. They may remove their mask to receive the Host (the Precious Blood will not be distributed), and replace their masks immediately after receiving the Host. Everyone is encouraged to receive Communion in the hand (but not required). A bottle of hand sanitizer will be placed on a table beside the Ministers of Holy Communion; they must make use of it when any contact is made giving Holy Communion, or when requested by the one receiving Holy Communion
Some other differences in the Church and during Mass:
Holy Water – all fonts will be empty. Bottles of Holy Water will be available to take for use at home.
Hymnals – all hymnals have been removed from seating. You will be given a song sheet when you arrive with hymns and responses for Sunday Mass; this sheet is to be thrown in the available trash can when you leave.
Singing – Choirs are not permitted at this time. Music will be simpler and fewer songs/verses will be sung.
Collection Baskets – Collection baskets WILL NOT be passed. Please use the marked containers for Regular Collection (Weekly/Monthly), Children's Collection, and Second Collection (if there is one on that week).
Offertory Procession – The Offertory Procession at Mass will be omitted during this time.
Sign of Peace – if the Sign of Peace is to be offered, please give only gestures that do not involve contact (i.e. a reverential bow, a friendly wave)
Funeral and Wedding Masses are permitted so long as the above guidelines for Social Distancing, Masks, and other precautions are followed. The Church is limited to no more than 25% of capacity (roughly half of the seats that are actually present). Families who wish to schedule a Memorial Mass for those who passed away while public Masses were suspended may call and schedule Masses; they may also wait until a later date.
Baptisms may resume, but may only be celebrated outside of Mass. Guidelines for Social Distancing, Masks, and other precautions are to be followed.
Confessions will be celebrated following Social Distancing and Masking
First Communion will occur the weekend of July 18-19. More details will come soon.
Communion/Anointing visits to the Homebound will not resume at this time. Please contact the parish office if you would like a visit when they resume. In an EMERGENCY, call the Parish Office or Fr. Matthew.
Watch Bishop Malesic's Sunday Mass at 9:00 am on the Diocese of Greensburg Facebook Page...
To stay continuously updated with communications, recommendations and actions taken by the Diocese of Greensburg to combat the spread of the coronavirus, text “Faith” to the number 724-305-3057 to sign-up for important text message alerts. Up-to-the-minute communication is available on all diocesan social media outlets — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and on its website,