WARNING ABOUT RISK ASSUMED BY PARISHIONERS

While our parish staff will attempt to take appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, parishioners and guests should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 anytime they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.

Guidelines for Attending Mass

Our ability to open our church and celebrate public Mass is dependent on following guidelines from the Peoria Diocese and Public Health Officials. These guidelines were developed to keep our parishioners and our staff safe during the pandemic. We have been diligent in our approach and have implemented procedures at St. Patrick Church of Merna to meet all criteria.

Since the seating capacity in the church has been reduced drastically, Bishop Jenky has dispensed the faithful from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. Please do not attend Mass if you are in a high-risk category, have an underlying health condition, or feel it is more prudent to stay at home. If you are ill, have recently been sick, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend Mass. Our goal is to allow those parishioners who want to attend Mass in person to do so safely.

First Holy Communion Masses will be live-streamed to our Facebook Page & Website.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

REGISTERING FOR MASS (THROUGH EVENTBRITE)

  • We understand the desire for additional family and friends to join in this Sacramental celebration. Due to our limited capacity, we ask families to reserve spots for the first communicant, immediate family members (those they live with) and grandparents IF grandparents are willing to take the risk.
  • Registration for First Holy Communion Masses will remain open until midnight on July 7th, 2020.
  • Select your date and complete the “checkout” page to register your child for that specific First Holy Communion Mass.
  • Handicapped seating is available. Please call Bobbi for more information.
  • You will receive an email to confirm your reservation.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with the online system or need assistance with reserving a spot, please call Bobbi at 309-662-7361 ext. 225.

COMING TO CHURCH

  • Please use your restroom at home before arriving. Our restrooms will be available for emergencies only.
  • The nursery will be closed and Children’s Liturgy is temporarily suspended.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of Mass.
  • MASKS ARE REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE OVER 2 YEARS OF AGE: After you park, ensure that all your family members have their masks on before they leave the car and enter the church building. Please wear a mask. It is an act of charity.
  • Before entering the building, please ensure that your entire party has arrived.
  • Please enter through the Main Church Doors (West Entrance), to check in for Mass. Chapel Doors (North Entrance) will be locked.
  • Once you are checked in, your family will be directed to wait in line for your child’s photo. When it is your child’s turn, an usher will greet you. Your child will remove his/her mask and approach the designated spot to stand for the actual picture. Your family may advance to the “viewing” area. Please practice social distancing while your family is waiting.
  • Once your child’s picture has been taken, you will follow the usher into the church. The usher will take you to your assigned family pew.
  • An offertory box will be available to accept your weekly envelopes and a sanitation station will be available as well.

DURING MASS

  • To minimize contact while in the building, remain in your pews the whole time. If you need assistance, please get the attention of an Usher.
  • There will be no Presentation of the Gifts or passing of the offertory basket. (Offertory boxes available upon arrival for drop off of weekly collection)
  • There will be no exchange of the sign of peace.
  • The Precious Blood will not be distributed.

COMMUNION

PLEASE REFER TO THE EMAIL YOU RECEIVED ON 6/24/2020 FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO RECEIVE COMMUNION.

AT THE END OF MASS

  • After the final blessing, to minimize contact with other parishioners, Ushers will dismiss people by families and pews. Please do not leave your pew until instructed to do so.
  • Do not gather in the Gathering Space or by the Welcome Center.
  • You may take pictures outside on the parish grounds.

LIVESTREAM

Recognizing that First Holy Communion would normally be celebrated with extended family and friends, each of the Masses will be livestreamed for your relatives to view.