Mass Under COVID Restrictions
The latest updates on Mass and the Sacraments will be posted on this page.
We have created a video to advise worshippers on the arrangements for public Mass - a decision has now been made about starting again.
All the 8 parishes in the South and East Belfast Pastoral Community have discussed their individual plans and are now about to re-introduce some Masses.
The plans for St Brigid's are as follows:
- Masses will recommence on Monday 6 July 2020 at 9:30am. Initially there will be Mass at 9:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- The number of Masses each week will be increased as confidence in the smooth and safe running of them is established; there will not be any Saturday/Sunday Masses for the present
- Further announcements will be made here and on the Parish Facebook page when that happens
- Parishioners are again reminded that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays/Holy Days is still active
- Because it will be possible for people to come as individuals or as household groups it is not possible to be precise about the maximum capacity but it is likely to be about 70 people at each Mass
- Places will be available on a first come: first served basis and when all the seating stations (see video) are occupied, no more worshipers will be able to be admitted
- The opportunities for Private Prayer also continue Monday - Saturday 7:00 - 8:00pm.
- Common questions that you may have are dealt with below - see FAQs (below the Video)
In order to give as many parishioners as possible the opportunity to attend Mass, you are asked not to come more than once per week at present. Also - each of the neighbouring Parishes will be trying to serve their parishioners in a similar way. So please respect that by attending only our own church.
Safety for all concerned - at Mass and in the whole community - is our overriding desire so please do not come if you have been asked by your doctor to shield or if you have any actual or suspected COVID-19 symptoms. For the present, there is no obligation to wear a mask but please feel free to wear one, if you wish.
The video is shown below and we have created some FAQs that will hopefully cover items that you may be wondering about. They are shown below the video.
When will Mass begin again and when will they be taking place? At present they will commence on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30am from 6 July - see above.
Who can be accommodated at Mass? Worshippers can come as individuals - or as groups consisting of members of the same household. (See video)
Are there people who should not come? This is a matter for each individual but government guidance says that those who are over 70 or who have underlying health problems - including those who have been asked to shield - are at a significantly higher risk of COVID-19. That government advice is HERE.
You should also think about small children who are not old enough to understand and comply with distancing and with avoiding touching surfaces.
Are there elements of attendance that will be different? Most of this is covered in the video but - in addition, you should note:
- Toilet facilities will NOT be available as we cannot clean them after each use.
- There will be no collections during or after Mass due to cross infection risks - separate arrangements regarding regular collections were circulated to homes in the Parish and there is also a Donate Online link under the Contacts tab.
- We will not be using Parish missals, hymn books and bulletins - and newspapers will not be available for sale.
- The votive candle racks will NOT be accessible - due to the risk of cross infection.
How many people will be able to be accommodated? That will depend upon the mix of individuals and family groups but our best estimate is that the maximum capacity will be 70 worshippers. This is because only the central blocks of seats will be in use at first. The capacity will be increased when it is safe to do so.
Will Ministers of Holy Communion, Ministers of the Word, Cantors and Altar Servers be required? For the present, only the celebrant will be involved. When that changes, those who normally fulfill those roles will be contacted.
Information on Mass will also be posted on the Parish Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/stbrigidsparishbelfast