A little over a week ago, I shared an update about our Advent Mission and Christmas schedule. Since then, we’ve received several questions, specifically about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass.
We’ve taken the most common questions and answered them with our plans and suggestions. Please know, your safety is our top priority when celebrating Christmas with us this year.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
- When is Mass, and what Masses are live-streamed?
- Bishop Olson has approved our Christmas Eve starting time at 2 PM. On Christmas Eve, we’ll celebrate a 2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM Mass. Our Midnight Mass at 11:30 PM with Carols. On Christmas Day, we’ll celebrate at 9 AM and 11 AM (Spanish)
- We will be live streaming the 2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM Christmas Eve Masses on our Facebook page at facebook.com/stfrancistx.
- Do I have to wear a mask?
- Yes. If you do not have a mask, we will supply one at the door. You will not be permitted to enter the Church without a mask. Please do not remove your mask during your time in our Church, except for receiving communion. The safety of all of our parishioners is our top priority.
- Do I have to come to Mass in person?
- The obligation to attend Mass in person is currently lifted, especially for those who are immunocompromised, over the age of 65, sick, or who might have been exposed to the coronavirus.
- What doors are open, and when will they open? When should I arrive?
- Only the North Parking lot/ Parish office entrance and Narthex entrance will be open to ensure we can count accurately. The doors will be opened, and entry allowed 30 minutes before all Masses. We must clear the sanctuary to clean before we can reopen the doors. We recommend arriving approximately 30 minutes before the start of Mass.
- Can we take photos after Mass?
- Unfortunately, this year we cannot allow any mingling in the sanctuary after Mass. All parishioners must leave directly after Mass so we can clean and reset for the next Mass.
- Will the doors lock?
- The exterior doors will lock 10 minutes after the start of all Masses for our parishioners’ safety. Please plan accordingly. As mentioned above, the doors will open approximately 30 minutes before the start of Mass.
- Where can we sit?
- Our standard Mass protocols are still in place. We will maintain partial occupancy and 3ft – 6ft distancing in our Church at this time. Every other pew will remain blocked. We’ll open the parish hall and then the family life center as we reach capacity.
- Do we need to get a ticket? What is the capacity?
- You do not need a ticket to attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Mass. Our Mass is first come, first serve. The sanctuary has a capacity of 500 people, the parish hall can fit 70 people, and the family life center can accommodate 150. The Parish Hall and FLC will be open with space for seating, with Mass being Live Streamed.
- What Mass is the busiest?
- Historically, the 4 PM Mass has the most attendance. With the coronavirus and our new 2 PM Mass, we’re not sure what attendance will be.
- What happens when we reach capacity?
- When the sanctuary reaches capacity, we’ll start seating in the Parish Hall and the Family Life Center. If all of our overflow seating reaches capacity, we will ask you to wait for the next Mass.
- Can I arrive and only receive communion?
- No, per the directives from Bishop Olson, distributing only Holy Communion was discontinued in May.
- Can we save seats?
- While the answer is always no, we generally try to be understanding. However, this year our Ushers will need to be able to fill the seats on a first-come, first-serve basis to accommodate the limited space. Please have all family members come at the same time when coming to Mass.
- What COVID measures are in place?
- Besides the limited capacity, social distancing, and requirement for masks, we also clean the sanctuary between all Masses. For a list of all directives, you can visit us here.
- When is the parish office open?
- The parish offices will be closed beginning at noon on Wednesday, December 23rd until Monday, January 4th. There will be no Daily Mass on December 28th. There will be no adoration during this time. There will be no confessions on Saturday, December 26th.
- Can I still make a year-end donation?
- Yes! As we come to the end of the year, if you would like to make a one-time year-end donation, please make it to our Capital Campaign and send it in before December 31st; please mail them with checks dated 2020. Thank you so much for supporting our parish family during these trying times.