"In many parts of the U.S. and Canada, churches had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, Masses are resuming in a limited fashion, with social-distancing guidelines implemented in various ways by dioceses and local parishes.
It’s not the same as before. Attendance is restricted in some areas to a fraction of capacity. And, because elderly or immune-compromised parishioners are not able to risk public exposure, local bishops generally have temporarily suspended the obligation to attend Mass.
So seating is limited, the safety procedures are unusual, you might have to wear a face mask, and attendance isn’t obligatory. What should you do, then? Here is your seven-step guide to navigating the return to Mass."
Step 1. Go to Mass Anyway- In the Mass, you recieve the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ, with your fellow believers.
Step 2. Follow Directions- Your local parish might require you enter through particular doors, wear a facemask, use hand sanitizer, or avoid congregating before and after Mass.
Step 3. Remeber the collection.- The pandemic and lockdown have hit churches hard. Even parishes that offer electroic giving options receive most of their weekly contributions through the collection basket.
Step 4. Avoid Judging - Attendance might be smaller than you expect. You might notice some regulars missing. Don't assume they have grown lazy or lukewarm. Those who aren't at Mass might have legitimate reasons. Pray for them.
Step 5. Invite others to return. - By the same token, when you meet or speak with other Catholics afterward, encourage them to return to Mass.
Step 6. Get back to the box. - There's more than just Mass awaiting your return. Confessions were hard to come by in many areas during the pandemic, often limited to special requests or creative drive-by opportunities, but scheduled times should resume too.
Step 7. Gradually resume parish life. If all goes well, things should return to normal with time.
To read the more "in-depth" complete list and article please visit As You Return to the Pew by Gerald Korson
Gerald Korson, a veteran Catholic journalist, is a member of the Knights of Columbus in Indiana.
Originally published in a weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s archives, click here. To share your story, email email@example.com.