Re-opening of churches and Mass bookings…

My dear parishioners, I hope you’re all keeping the Faith and keeping well! You are all very much missed. Good news to know that all being equal we should be able to open up again from Friday 26th March for Holy Mass, and in preparation for the most sacred time in the Church’s calendar: Holy Week.

I want to share with you my thoughts about re-opening and the schedule up to Holy Week.

Thanks in advance:

I want to express my gratitude, in advance, to all those who will help us to re-open and all who have already done so much to ensure that our churches are hospitable, safe, and friendly environments in which to worship. I am extremely grateful to pass-keepers, cleaners, stewards, organisers, etc. for the hard work they have already put in and will once again put in, to enable us to function as we should – on your behalf and mine I express our indebtedness to them all.

I’d now like to speak to you about the practicalities of it all…

Bookings:

Bookings will, for this period, only be taken by phone and must be made exclusively via the landline (01577 863329). Please do not leave a recorded message but only make your booking through direct conversation with me. Bookings will not be accepted by any other means, but you may feel free to book on behalf of others (with their consent) if they are unable to do so themselves. There will be set hours for making bookings and these will be Tuesday to Friday each week from 7.00p.m.-8.00p.m., please do not phone later than 8.00p.m. for bookings.

The reason for my strictness with this is that I made several double-bookings or omitted bookings the last time these procedures were in place and I do not wish this to happen again for all of our sakes. I would also require that booking be essential, not optional, if you wish to attend Holy Mass, as I do not want to have to ask pass-keepers to turn people away because there is insufficient space to maintain the required social-distancing. All of these measures are necessary for everyone’s well-being and sense of ease whilst in church, not to speak of the smooth running of the booking process.

Numbers & Hygiene:

Numbers will be limited given the smallness of our churches, so that we will be talking only of a few more than 20 places, possibly, at each Mass or liturgical celebration. Hygiene protocols, which must be strictly adhered to, will return as they were previously. Parishioners without an official exemption will be expected to wear face masks… and I imagine that none of this will surprise you.

Proposed Timetable (26/03/21 to 31/03/21):

I will not be taking bookings until the evening of Tuesday 23rd March (7.00p.m. – 8.00p.m. only) but you might already like to be thinking about when you hope to attend. Please neither be hesitant to book out of concern for preventing others coming , but also be sensitive to the fact that if one books several slots one may be making it difficult for others to attend even once – hopefully we can strike a happy balance.

At the moment, then, I am proposing the following timetable from Friday 26th March until Wednesday 31st March inclusive:

Friday 26th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

Confessions in the church hall after the 10.00a.m. Mass

Saturday 27th March – Holy Mass in St. Matthew’s, Auchtermuchty, at 3.00p.m.

Confessions in the sacristy after the 3.00p.m. Mass

Saturday 27th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 5.00p.m.

Confessions in the church hall after the 5.00p.m. Mass

Sunday 28th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 9.00a.m.

Sunday 28th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 11.00a.m.

Sunday 28th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 1.00p.m.

Monday 29th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 7.00p.m.

Confessions available after Mass each weekday in the church hall.

Tuesday 30th March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

Wednesday 31st March – Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross, at 10.00a.m.

N.b. In due course the schedule for Holy Week will appear here on the parish website. For the sake of practicality the main celebrations for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) will take place in St. James’, Kinross, and hopefully next year, when things return to normality (God willing) St. Matthew’s will have an opportunity to host some of these important liturgical celebrations. Naturally there will be provision in both churches this year for the celebration of Easter Sunday.

I am very much looking forward to opening the churches and to joining with you once more for the celebration of Holy Mass and Confession. It seems such a long time since we were able to come together to worship the Lord as we should. I pray, and would ask you do the same same, please, that very soon we will resume our normal worship free of the restrictions that we have had to get used to this past while. God bless you and yours and let us continue to pray for each other,

With every blessing,

Fr. Martin Pletts

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