Today the Diocese of Rockville Centre issued directives regarding having public liturgies once again. Below I have summarized the extensive guidelines. Quotes from the diocesan directives are in boldface. My comments are not bolded.
1) Holy Communion: Until further notice, Holy Communion will not be distributed at any liturgies, including Weddings and Funerals.
While I realize this continues to be a spiritual hardship to the faithful, I pray that the duration of this restriction will be very short-lived. In the meantime, spiritual communion is the next best option.
2) Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms (with no more than 10 people in attendance), may begin as of May 21, 2020. This is good news. Not having funerals has been a painful situation for families who are grieving. This allows funerals, either with Mass (without the distribution of Holy Communion) or at a Liturgy of the Word, to take place. The same would hold true for Wakes.
We are also ready to schedule individual baptisms at a family’s request.
3) Confessions can be scheduled with six feet of distance between the priest and penitent. Outdoor Confessions are permitted, following the same rules.
The location for outdoor confessions at OLV will be announced soon. They will begin at the usual confession times beginning Saturday, May 30, 2020.
4) “Drive-in” Masses: These are permitted where possible, provided that social distances are maintained.
However, Holy Communion will not be distributed. We are told that directives will be published soon that will allow for the distribution of Holy Communion. Plans for “drive-in” Masses at OLV are being formulated, using our schoolyard parking lot as the location. However, my preference would be to have permission for “outdoor” Masses where people can socially distance outside of their cars. That would provide us with more possible locations for Mass, and in my opinion, provide a better experience of worship and prayer. More information about this will be forthcoming.
So, in summary, while some progress is being made, it is still not ideal. My consolation is that these restrictions will be short-lived, and soon we will gather again as the faith community of Our Lady of Victory! In the meantime, we will continue to have daily and Sunday Masses available on YouTube and FaceBook.
Praised be the name of Jesus Christ now and forever!