Rejoice & Be Glad: OLW Resumes Pre-Covid Operations!
At long last, the moment we have waited for — for more than fifteen months — has finally arrived! It is with extreme joy, that we announce the State of Illinois’ Restore Illinois Phase 5 will begin this Friday, June 11, and the Archdiocese of Chicago will follow its guidance.
What does this mean for worship at Our Lady of the Wayside? Here are the happy highlights…
- Masses, liturgies, sacramental celebrations, parish/school events and all offices may resume 100% capacity.
Entrance and Exit
- All church entrances and exits will be open and available for parishioner use.
- Masks are NOT required for vaccinated persons.
- Masks are recommended for unvaccinated indoors, particularly in crowded venues.
- Physical distancing is NOT required for vaccinated persons.
- Physical distancing is recommended, when possible, for unvaccinated persons if conditions allow up to 6 ft. of separation.
Special Seating (with separation)
- For those who are not yet vaccinated, or who still wish to maintain greater social distance, a special section in our church will be provided. Please note seats within the section will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Registration is no longer required.
- Hand sanitizer will remain prominently available in our church, school and parish office.
Masses and Liturgies
- All forms of sacramental and liturgical ministry will resume normal practice with a few minor exceptions.
- Proof of vaccination is not required for attendance at any liturgies or services.
- Holy Water fonts will be filled and used.
- Ushers will resume their pre-pandemic routine.
- Choirs, congregational signing, oral responses, use of worship aids, envelopes and bulletins will be fully resumed.
- The Sign of Peace will be restored.
- Reception of Holy Communion:
- Receiving Holy Communion in the hand no longer requires extra hand sanitizing on the part of the Communicant. However, the priest and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will continue to sanitize their hands prior to distributing Communion.
- Receiving Holy Communion on the tongue may resume. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will have hand sanitizer nearby in the event of contact with saliva.
- Distributing/receiving Holy Communion from the cup remains suspended at this time.
- All social gatherings (potlucks, office luncheons, parish picnics, carnivals, etc.) may resume while incorporating the guidance on masks and physical distancing noted here.
Reporting COVID-related Illnesses
Our parish will continue to encourage parishioners to report if they become COVID-positive and if they attended a Mass or liturgy within three days of diagnosis. Additionally, our parish staff will report any COVID-positive diagnoses they may receive, as well.
Anointing of the Sick
Beginning July 1, the COVID-19 Anointing Team will be deactivated, and parishes will resume providing anointers for hospitals within their area.
Additional guidance specific to school-related activities, mission trips and summer camps is forthcoming. Those guidelines will include some exceptions to what was noted above.
In the event that anything changes per the State of Illinois, City of Chicago or public health departments, we will communicate immediately.
Let us continue to pray to our Holy Mother and the Holy Spirit for an end to the pandemic and the grace to move forward in solidarity and charity with our sisters and brothers in a renewed way.
Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur Marat