WORSHIPING IN A COVID-19 CHURCH
First of a three part series by fellow parishioners
Dear parishioners and friends,
It is with much joy that I share with you our family’s gratitude in
returning to Holy Mass at our beloved Sacred Heart of Jesus
Church. So much has changed in our lives since March. Little did
we know that March 14 would be our last Mass attendance and we
would face three months without the Holy Eucharist, the
sacrament of reconciliation and worshiping with our parish family!
Facing an international pandemic, we found ourselves cut off from
our church, fellow parishioners and the sacraments.
Living a sacramental life has always been very important to our
family. How can we live a sacramental life when we must shelter in
place with churches closed? I suddenly realized how much I had
taken for granted: 1) Eucharistic adoration; 2) spiritual healing
from the sacrament of reconciliation; and most importantly 3) the
spiritual nourishment received with Holy Communion. I felt a
yearning in my heart for Jesus in the Eucharist with each passing
During this time, my family and I prayed the rosary daily and
participated in the televised Masses. However, the deep longing
for Jesus in the Eucharist only intensified with each passing week.
For me, going to Mass with my family is truly a blessing, like
sharing in the Heavenly banquet. Loving and praising God is the
greatest happiness I know! And worshiping together with my
parish family brings comfort and consolation.
St. Padre Pio has said “It would be easier for the world to survive
without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.” And St. John
Vianney said, “When we receive Holy Communion, we
experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a wellbeing that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt.“
I asked my kids one word describing how they felt after returning
to church. They replied: grateful, comforted, blessed, joyful,
spiritually fed, peaceful, and love. That is what returning to Mass
has brought back into our family- we have more joy, more peace,
more consolation and love for each another. We also have a
greater appreciation for the freedom that we have always enjoyed
in going to Mass.
I thank Fr. Andy and our parish staff for making our beautiful,
welcoming Church safe so that we can celebrate and worship
together in confidence. While wearing masks may be
uncomfortable and it’s difficult to see our happy faces, it forces us
to focus on looking into each other’s eyes, seeing the joy that
exudes from them.
In his beautiful song, Table of Plenty, Dan Shutte, writes: Come to
the feast of heaven and earth! Come to the table of plenty! God
will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.
For those still unable to attend Mass for any reason, we pray for
you as a parish family and eagerly await your return once the
pandemic has ended, when we can all join once again to celebrate
“at the table of plenty.” We all belong at His table.