Guidelines for Safely Returning to Mass

Safety Measures

  • If you are feeling ill, stay safe at home.
  • We highly encourage those who are vulnerable (such as the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions) to continue to participate in Mass via parish livestreaming or CTV: Catholic Television.
  • Mass from the Cathedral of Saint Peter will continue to be broadcast daily on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton. It is also available on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • People should wash their hands thoroughly before coming to church.

Face Masks

  • Face masks must be worn by all lay faithful who attend Mass. The only time a face mask may be removed is for the reception of Holy Communion.
  • Clergy are not to wear a face mask during the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy but must wear a face mask for the distribution of Holy Communion which takes place after Mass.

Social Distancing

Guidelines for Returning to Mass

  • Mass attendance will be limited to no more than 25-percent of a church’s seating capacity.
  • While within the church, all people need to maintain a safe social distance of six feet from others in all directions. The only exception is for immediate family members who may sit together.
  • Several pews may separate individuals/families to ensure the six foot distancing while within the church.
  • Parishioners will need to enter through only one designated door, follow social distancing guidelines during the line for communion, and exit the church through a separate door.
  • Congregational singing at Mass is discouraged at this time so as to minimize the spread of breath droplets.
  • Parishes may still utilize a cantor and organist for Mass as long as they are at least 10 feet away from each other, the assembly, and any ministers in the sanctuary.
  • Parishes may still utilize a cantor and organist for Mass as long as they are at least 10 feet away from each other, the assembly, and any ministers in the sanctuary.

Holy Communion

  • The distribution of Holy Communion will take place after the conclusion of Mass. After receiving communion, the faithful are to depart and not return to their pews.
  • Distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended at this time.
  • Parishioners are strongly advised to receive the Body of Christ in the hand.
  • Priests and deacons (or any other minister) will wear a mask for the distribution of Holy Communion and are to use hand sanitizer before, immediately after, and if necessary, during the distribution of communion if contact is made with any person’s hand or tongue.
  • Holy Communion on the Tongue: Although it is strongly discouraged, anyone who still wishes to receive Holy Communion on the tongue can be instructed to wait until the end of the Communion distribution after everyone else has received. This will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others, as well as allow time for the priest to sanitize his hands properly after each person who receives on the tongue.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass remains suspended at this time

Please note: these measures will not take effect until June 8, 2020. Masses will continue to be streamed on Facebook until public masses return.

A Message from Monsignor Delaney

Dear Friends,

As Lackawanna County moves into the "Yellow" phase of re-opening, we are preparing to receive parishioners back to public Mass in a limited and responsible way.

In order to abide by social distancing requirements, our seating capacity is fewer than you might expect. Because of this, in order to attend Sunday Mass, you will be required to first call the Rectory to place a reservation. Calls will be received on a first call, first seated basis. Upon filling the number of seats available, you will be placed on the following weeks attendance list. Please do not come to Sunday Mass without having called us first. If not first registered, you will be asked to come to the next available Mass. We know that this sounds very strange and is unusual, but we also are all very aware that the guidelines are for the safety of our community. Masks must be worn in Church. Please, if able, bring your own hand sanitizer/wipes from home.

The Mass schedule is:

Blessed Sacrament Saturday 5:30 PM and Sunday 9:30 AM.

Holy Cross Saturday 4:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM.

Please note at this time, the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass is suspended.

You will be greeted upon entering and directed to where you will sit. Please be in church 15 minutes before the beginning of Mass to receive instructions.

For reservations, all the rectory: 570-489-0752, 570-489-1963

Thank you for your understanding and patience in helping us to move forward. As always, your continued generosity and support of our parishes helps us to together continue to conduct our mission.

A special note of gratitude to those who have agreed to set-up, direct and sanitize our churches in preparation for worship. United in the Love of Our God who reveals Himself to us as father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Msgr. Michael J. Delaney June 6-7, 2020