Our Church During COVID-19

St Mary's

Per order of the Brookline Health Commissioner, face coverings are now required in all indoor, publicly accessible spaces in the town of Brookline. As a result, our parishioners and visitors will be required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose at all times while indoors on our parish properties. Please note that if you are gathering outside you are not required to wear a mask. We will keep our seating sections as they are and re-assess if there is a need to add more social-distanced seating in the future. Thank you for your continued understanding and know that we’re doing our best to keep you all safe and to keep our doors open for you. 

Note that, even if fully vaccinated, immunocompromised people, people who are at increased risk of severe disease because of age and/or underlying medical conditions, and those who live with people in those categories are advised to continue all safe practices—wear a mask, maintain social distancing, avoid crowds indoors and outdoors, clean hands frequently—and to speak with their doctor about risk if necessary. 

Please note the following:

  • Even though the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Mass has been reinstated for most parishioners, if a parishioner is feeling ill they should remain at home. Cardinal Seán's message about the reinstatement includes the following: This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have been recently exposed to COVID or any other communicable illness; those who are confined to their homes or to hospitals or other facilities due to illness, infirmity, frailty, or age; and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated, due to age or any health consideration. Parishioners should consult their local pastor if they have questions about the obligation. Please read the Cardinal's entire message here.
  • We offer separate sections of the church for socially distanced seating and for regular pre-pandemic seating. Signage and, at Sunday Masses, greeters will guide you.
  • During Mass and services everyone over age 2, even if vaccinated, is required to wear a mask regardless of where they sit.  

Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, healthy or “high risk” (anyone over 60, immunocompromised, with a heart condition or diabetes, or who has any other serious underlying medical conditions), your safety and health during worship is the highest priority. We encourage every parishioner and every family to make a sound and reasonable decision about what is best for their own health and the health of their family and their communities, and to consult with their doctor when appropriate. If a smaller congregation size is important to you, you should know that the 11 a.m. Mass is the most popular. Should you decide that staying at home is safer, we respect your decision. We continue to stream the 11 a.m. Mass so that you can worship and participate at home and watch it live or anytime afterwards.

How to Prepare for Mass

St. Mary Interior

●  If you have any symptoms of illness or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, you must stay at home. 

●  We suggest bringing your own hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be on hand as it remains available, but having your own disinfecting materials is an extra precaution. 

●  Please have your mask on when you enter the church. 

What to Expect at Mass

●  Greeters at most Sunday Masses and signage/markers will guide you to your preferred socially distanced seating or not distanced seating section of the church. 

●  In the socially distanced section, social distancing is required between persons/households. 

●  As much as possible, we ask that you please remain in your pew for the duration of the Mass.

Liturgy

Fr. J Mass in Church 4-15-20

●  There will be no formal offertory collection. Parishioners are encouraged to give through Online Giving (available on our webpage here). We depend on and thank you for your generosity! 

●  Communion will be offered after the consecration as usual with those partaking forming a line and processing towards the minister just as in pre-pandemic times. This includes those in the socially distanced seating section. However, anyone who is not comfortable joining the procession may remain standing in their pew. When the communion line is done, a minister will approach those standing and give them the Eucharist at the entrance of their pew. Please leave your mask on and do not remove it until it is your turn to receive the Eucharist; you should put your mask back on as you consume the Blessed Sacrament and return to your seat. Once you have received Holy Communion, please kneel and pray. It is never appropriate to leave Mass before the final blessing and dismissal.

If you would prefer to remain in church and pray after Mass, please do so. (In consideration of those who remain vulnerable, please do not congregate inside church before or after Mass.)  

If you or anyone in your party tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attendance at Mass, you must immediately contact the parish at 617-734-0444 ext. 2 or [email protected] so that we can alert everyone who attended Mass at the same time (of course, identities will be kept anonymous). If we are notified of a diagnosis of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, in the interest of public health we will make an announcement on our website, Facebook page, and bulletin.

We are so grateful for all our parishioners and thank you for your cooperation and perseverance during the health crisis. We pray for the health, safety, and well-being of our faith community and communities beyond. Peace and God bless.