COVID-19 Response

Public Mass Reopening

I rejoiced when I heard them say, Let us go the house of the Lord.

As of June 13-14, Bishop O’Connell has granted permission to begin the reopening of public Masses. However, there is no obligation to attend Mass in the Diocese of Trenton until at least September. Our live stream will remain available.

As we open in an orderly manner and follow new protocols our Mass Schedule will change. Beginning on the weekend of June 13-14, Masses will be celebrated on Saturday at 5:30 pm in English and 7:00 pm in Spanish and Sunday at 8:30 am and 10:00 am in English and 12:00 pm in Spanish. Beginning on Thursday, June 11 Daily Mass will be celebrated at 8:15 am Monday through Saturday. 
This is the first phase of reopening which will have many new protocols that all parishioners must follow to attend Mass. These procedures will be reevaluated and possibly modified. Please read through the details below. Thank you for your patience and compliance.

CAPACITY AND SEAT RESERVATION

  • For now, Weekend Masses will be limited to 30% capacity and daily Masses to 100 people according to diocesan guidelines.
  • Because it is impossible to accommodate all our parishioners for Weekend Masses, we are asking parishioners to reserve their seat online through our parish website (click here to make reservation). Each seat reservation is for a maximum of four people. (Households greater than 4 persons will require an additional reservation). Online Reservation will open the previous Wednesday morning at 9:00 am and will close on Friday at 12:00 pm. Technical support to assist with online reservations is available on Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm by calling the parish office.
  • Seat reservations will only apply to Sunday Masses and Saturday Vigil. Daily Masses will be first come, first served with a maximum of 100 persons attending.

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

  • If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, has a fever, or has recently been in contact with someone who may be sick with any symptoms that might be COVID related, do not come to Mass. 
  • Before you leave home, wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Face coverings (masks covering nose and mouth) are required for all persons on our campus and during Mass. No Mask, No Mass!
  • The Spiritual Center Auditorium rest rooms are closed except for emergencies. The church restroom will be unavailable.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer to use before receiving Holy Communion. 

MASS ARRIVAL PROCEDURES - Weekend

  • Masks for all should be worn as soon as you exit your vehicle.
  • Arrive 20 minutes before Mass begins to stand in line observing proper social distancing at the main door of the church.
  • Please print or have your confirmation email pulled up on your phone to show staff when entering through the main door. This will speed up the process for all.
  • Entrance will only be through the main doors of the church which will open 15 minutes prior to the start of Mass.
  • Parish volunteers will seat your household like boarding an airplane. You may not choose where to sit. Please sit as a household in the space designated by the tape on the pew. The church will be seated to fill the open pews from front to back. Alternating pews will be closed and marked by red tape.  You may be sharing a pew with another household, but social distance is required between the households.
  • The holy water fonts remain empty.
  • Don’t be late as your seats will be given away!

MASS ARRIVAL PROCEDURES - Daily

  • Masks for all should be worn as soon as you exit your vehicle.
  • The church will open 5 minutes prior to the celebration of Mass. Please stand in line observing proper social distancing at the main door of the church.
  • Entrance will only be through the main doors of the church. Please fill pews from front to rear in designated spaces.
  • Once the limit of 100 parishioners has been reached, no more access will be given. Daily Mass will continue to be live streamed.

MASS PROCEDURES

  • Masses will be conducted as you have seen on the live stream with reduced volunteer lay ministers. There will be no altar servers, choirs, or lay sacristans.
  • Please keep your face mask on for the duration of Mass.
  • There is to be no physical contact between households at the Sign of Peace or hand holding during the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Baskets will not be passed during the offertory. You will be able to place your weekly donation in a basket as you enter or exit the church, but we strongly encourage online giving through ParishGiving.

COMMUNION PROCEDURES

  • Bishop O’Connell strongly recommends that communion not be offered on the tongue for the time being for the safety and health of both the ministers distributing and others receiving. 
  • The precious blood will not be offered to the congregation.
  • Use of personal hand sanitizer before communion is strongly encouraged.
  • You will remain in your pew for communion with your mask on.  As the minister approaches, please stand, extend your hands, after the minister places the host in your hands, remove your mask, consume the host and replace your mask. You may be seated after reception of communion.

MASS DEPARTURE PROCEDURES 

  • After the final blessing and recessional song, parishioners must remain in their pew.
  • Pews will be dismissed in an orderly fashion starting in the front of the church and exiting from the front side doors using the side aisles. If mobility issues prevent you from walking down the steps, you may use the side aisle and exit through the far-right main door.
  • You must exit your pew when prompted. Private prayer is not available after Sunday Masses to allow the church to be reset for the next Mass.
  • You can drop your weekly offertory as you depart. 
  • Please do not congregate outside the church on parish ground or in the parking lot but head directly to your vehicle and depart enabling the next Mass to start on time.

You are reminded to follow CDC recommendations regarding your own health. If you fall into an “at risk” category, please stay home and join us by live stream. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I thank you for your kind patience and your prayerful support. The Church will be open for private prayer Monday through Friday following daily Mass until 8:00 pm. I ask you play close attention to the protocols listed. If we all do this well, we will be able to fully open our church in the future. I look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Msgr. Joe
 

Church Open for Private Prayer

 

Contact

Monica Heucke
Administrative Assistance

Parish Office

216 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
Phone: (609) 924-1743
Fax: (609) 924-7510

Links

Sunday Mass Reservation

(Link for reservations only live Weds 9am - Fri 12pm) 

Video Guide for Mass 

Diocese of Trenton Response and Bishop O'Connell's Directives

Centers for Disease Control

New Jersey Health Department