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Script for Sunday Mass in times of Social Distancing [updated 6-19-20]

Thank you so much for taking the time to read these instructions. It is such a challenging time, requiring us to take on a holy discipline so different from what we are accustomed to. Thank you for understanding that these instructions are for the benefit of everyone and require a generosity of spirit that might not always be easy to maintain. Our ability to continue to hold public services will depend on the trends of contagion in our community and state, and our diligence in keeping to these instructions. If you have any questions about any of these instructions, please contact Msgr. Makarewicz who will be glad to assist you. Note that some of these guidelines have been established to respond to the particular pastoral and social needs of our local community. We ask that everyone respect the decisions we have made for the common good.

Familiarize yourself with the decrees from Bishop McKnight which pertain to the pastoral activity of the parish in this time of pandemic. These decrees form the basis of our parish response, especially as we have resumed public worship in keeping with diocesan guidelines.

Decree of June 15 in response to the governor’s executive order

Instructions of April 28 in regard to the previous decrees

Second Decree of April 17 extending limitations on pastoral activities

Decree of March 31, 2020 limiting pastoral activities

Governor Parson’s plan for recovery

CDC guidelines for staying healthy, including guidelines for higher risk individuals, the use of face coverings, social distancing, hand hygiene, and symptom awareness.

CDC guidelines for communities, institutions and businesses

Choosing to come to church

  • Remember that all of us are encouraged to remain at home as much as possible and keep travel minimized and purposeful. To this end, Bishop McKnight has lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass through September 1, 2020. Nevertheless, our Bishop is allowing us to have public services at this time under certain conditions.
  • Those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another with the virus within 14 days are not permitted to enter the church, in accordance with national, state and local health directives. All attendees are asked to check their temperature at home before coming to church.
  • Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issue or who are over 60 are strongly encouraged, for their own health, to avoid the risk of attending public celebrations of the Mass.
  • Given the large number of visitors from many places in more acute phases of the COVID-19 emergency, Our Lady of the Lake requires a mask (or other face covering) upon entering the church and during the celebration of Mass, except when seated in the pew and for the brief moment of receiving Holy Communion. Ushers and other volunteers are to wear masks and gloves (when gloves are not available, frequent hand washing will be necessary) throughout the celebration of Mass. These obligations are to be enforced without exception.
  • Those children who are not of an age or disposition for following social distancing protocols, nor safely and effectively wear a face mask in public should not attend public services.


  • Please know that there will be no access to the church by the general public from the office entrance hallway and the doors by the sacristy and the kitchen in the Fellowship Hall. That means that those who might park in the back lot will have to walk around to access the church doors.
  • If you have special mobility needs, please contact the parish office and we will arrange easier access.
  • Please keep social distancing by waiting to exit and enter your vehicles if there are others close by.
  • It is good practice to put your face covering on before you exit your vehicles.

Entering the Church

  • Ushers will be assisting in our efforts to welcome people and keep each other healthy. Please respect the directions and guidance as they assist in complying to these directives.
  • The center doors of the main front entrance, the center doors of the north entrance, and the center doors of the south entrance  will be used for entering church for Sunday Mass. The left and right side doors of the entrances will be reserved for exiting.
  • The office entrance doors and Fellowship Hall exterior doors will be locked. Entrance to the Fellowship Hall from church will be for designated ministers and emergencies only.
  • The cry room will not be available for use during mass. Bathroom access is for emergency use only.
  • Please follow the directions to the available seating. Every third pew will be available and the other pews will be cordoned off so that we can keep proper distancing.
  • The 10:00 AM Sunday service will be streamed on YouTube as an outreach to those who are unable to come to church. The cameras are arranged to include only the ministers in the center of the sanctuary  appearing on the stream; however, we need to inform you that  your entry and presence constitutes your consent to be depicted in any/all applicable media in perpetuity. If you do not agree to the foregoing, please do not enter this area. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Parish Office during regular business hours.


  • Stationary collection baskets will be placed at the entrances of the church to deposit your offering. The customary offertory collection will not take place.
  • Ushers will place them on the sanctuary once Mass has started.
  • All parishioners are encouraged to use alternate methods of contributing to the church such as USPS, bank withdrawals, or credit card payments through our parish website donation feature.


  • The front pews will be reserved for designated Eucharistic Ministers.
  • If there are more than two people in a household group that will be sitting together, that would indicate they have the pew to themselves. Otherwise pews can have up to two sets of two people in them. The ushers will assist in managing this.
  • There will be no hymnals or prayer guides available. You are encouraged to bring your own device and download the worship aids that are provided for each service. Numbers for the old, green Gather hymnals will be announced for those who have them and bring them to church.


  • Ushers in the center section of the church will invite the faithful to receive Holy Communion one row at a time, beginning in the back of the church, alternating rows from side to side.
  • Ushers in the side wings will invite the faithful one row at a time on the  west side, beginning in the back of the church.
  • Once the west side has finished, the east side will be invited to come up.  Please replace your face covering over your nose and mouth before leaving the pew. Those going to receive communion will follow in a single line, appropriately separated from one another down the center of the main aisle.
  • Markings on the floor will guide people on where to stand and proceed in the line in order to maintain distance.
  • During this time, you are strongly encouraged to receive communion in the hand as recommended health professionals and Bishop McKnight and thereby to avoid the Communion minister’s fingers coming into contact with saliva and exhalations.
  • When approaching the Communion minister, the communicant is to pull their mask below their chin and present one hand resting on the palm of the other. After responding “Amen,” the communicant reverently places the Eucharist in his or her mouth and immediately replaces their mask.
  • Those who persist in their desire to receive Holy Communion on the tongue may do so but only after those who receive Holy Communion in the hand. Please indicate to the usher that this is your intention and wait in an appropriate place out of the way of the procession until you would be the last one to receive at a a station. Communion ministers must purify and then sanitize their fingers after distributing Holy Communion on the tongue to each household.

After Communion

  • Please return to your pew after receiving communion. Do not leave until the worship service is completed and the ushers begin to direct the exit of the congregation. Remember that managing social distancing requires the cooperation of everyone.
  • No printed bulletins will be available. Please visit our parish bulletin page for this week’s edition.
  • Please continue to wear your face covering until you have entered your vehicle.