Dear Friends of St. Anselm’s,
With the traditional Sunday Mass obligation coming back into force this weekend, with allowances for those with health problems, etc., we are going to open the abbey church for fellow worshippers at our 9 a.m. Sunday Mass. The archdiocesan guidelines specify that there should still be social distancing of at least three feet unless one is with a group from his/her own household. Since our pews are a bit more than three-feet apart from each other (front to back), we can use all rows. All of the monks have been fully vaccinated, but as some are vulnerable because of underlying health problems, it would be safest if only vaccinated persons attend our Mass in person. Anyone present who is not fully vaccinated should certainly wear a mask, and many others may well prefer to do so. Persons from the nave may again bring up the gifts at the Offertory, the sign of peace would be a bow or a wave (not yet any shaking of hands), and Communion will be only under the species of bread (and preferably received on one’s hand rather than on the tongue). All of our Masses will continue to be live-streamed for those viewing them at home.
Obviously there are still some restrictions during the Mass, and after Mass we will not have coffee or pastry downstairs until the pandemic recedes still further. Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction. It will be good to have fellow worshippers again present in person at our Sunday Mass!
Sincerely in St. Benedict,
--Abbot James Wiseman, OSB