The current public health emergency has brought about a lot of fears, anxiety and questions about the celebration of Mass and the other Sacraments. This section on the Office of Worship webpage is intended to provide updates for those with specific questions about the liturgy.
Suspension of the Public Celebration of Mass
Liturgical Directives for Holy Week
On Friday, March 27, 2020, Bishop Gregory Parkes released the following Holy Week liturgical guidelines for the Diocese of St. Petersburg:
- Holy Week 2020 Liturgy Directives & Accommodations – English
- Holy Week 2020 Liturgy Directives & Accommodations – Spanish
Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil
As of March 27, 2020, Bishop Gregory Parkes made the following announcement regarding the Easter Vigil and the Christian Initiation of Adults.
Bishop Parkes grants to pastors permission to DELAY the Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist of the Elect to another time outside the usual Easter Vigil (cf. RCIA nos. 26-30) at which time they may use the abbreviated form of initiation provided in the RCIA ritual book (cf. PART II. RITES FOR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES, 2. Christian Initiation of Adults in Exceptional Circumstances, nos. 340-369). This should take place on a Sunday within the context of Mass (RCIA nos. 338-339) as soon as public worship is once again allowed. NOTE: If we are past this crisis by Saturday, May 30, 2020, the Vigil of Pentecost, with its additional readings, may be a good time to consider for celebrating the initiation of the Elect. Other options would be Pentecost Sunday (May 31, 2020) or Trinity Sunday on the weekend of June 6-7. – Revised March 27, 2020
Holy Communion to the Sick & Homebound
As indicated in the above March 18, 2020 Liturgical Directives & Accommodations During the Suspension of the Mass, the following directive pertains to the bringing of Holy Communion to the Sick & Homebound:
“For the time being, sick calls and distribution of Holy Communion for the homebound are reserved to priests only. A pastor may delegate a deacon for visitation to the sick and distribution of Holy Communion if a priest is not available to do so.”
Therefore, visits to the sick & homebound by a lay extraordinary minister of Holy Communion should cease for the time being. The minister is strongly encouraged to call the homebound regularly and to pray with them until that time when they may once again make visits.