Today our parish will offer our first public Mass in some 60 days. It is not as simple as opening the doors to the church and celebrating in the usual way. There are limitations on the number of people that can be admitted. We have roped off every other pew (actually we used ribbon) and limited access to only the main aisle. We are required to have ushers at the door equipped with a counter so that once we reach the prescribed number of people, no further entry will be allowed.
Social distancing is expected as are masks and sanitizing hands. There will be no sign of peace. In our parish, the church will only be open for Mass, not for private prayer. We are asked to sanitize the church after the celebration of Mass. A good part of my staff is still working in remote.
We are a downtown parish. If prior experience holds true, very few of daily Mass attendees are parishioners. If the utilization of parking lots is a measure of downtown activity, then perhaps only 10% of downtown workers have returned to their daily routines. The local courts are not in session. The surrounding law firms are working in remote. The same is true of the city and county offices. I am not expecting waves of people. We will see what we will see.
Like everyone these days, we are finding our way.