Our New Normal Experience at Church
By Bob Branco
June 4, 2020
For the first time since the pandemic began, my wife and I attended Church services. Though we enjoyed watching such services on YouTube during the past two and a half months, it was very refreshing to go back to Church and be with our friends in the congregation.
Let me tell you how different our Catholic mass is, compared to what it was like before the pandemic. First of all, everyone had to wear a mask, except the priest, the deacon and the lector. When we arrived, someone ushered us to an assigned seat. Everyone was seated at least six feet apart from one another, except for families. The seating arrangements were carefully marked off.
No one collected offerings during mass. There was a collection box at the front entrance where we could place donations upon arrival. We were only allowed to use the main entrance prior to Mass, but we could leave by any exit when it was over.
There was no singing, and the priest did his best to make the mass as short as possible. We didn’t offer one another the sign of peace, because this involves shaking hands.
Holy Communion was not administered at the normal time. The priest waited until the mass was over before he called everyone up to receive it. It was administered to the hand, and not to the mouth. Once we received Holy Communion, we had to leave the church immediately because we were not allowed to fellowship due to pandemic restrictions.
My wife and I have no problem with this new situation, because we are just glad to be at Church again. In fact, when we were seated, we felt the presence of Jesus near us. We believe that He was there to welcome us back.