Father Nick and I are filled with joy on the reopening of St. Philip to public Masses. We have missed you and look forward to seeing you. Yet the opening of our church and daily life is still affected by COVID-19. Measures must be taken to ensure the safety of our community both by the church and by you. Please understand, these steps are being taken with the protection of all in mind. ‘What are they?’ ‘What must we do?’ These questions and more are answered below. If you have questions not answered here, please contact the Parish Office.
Come let us celebrate our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Coming back to Mass. What you need to know…
When can I go to Mass when public Masses resume Monday, May 18.
- Continue to watch online. Info on our Live Stream Page.
- Public Masses are in the Main Church (new liturgies in red)
- 7:00am Monday-Friday – English
- 9:00am Monday-Saturday – English
- 6:30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – English
- 7:00pm Thursday, Saturday – Spanish
- 5:30pm Saturday – English
- Sunday: 7:00am – Bilingual; 8:30am, 11:00am, 5:00pm – English; 1:00pm – Spanish
The daily 9:00am and evening Masses will be live streamed on Facebook
The Sunday 8:30am & 1:00pm Masses will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The Sunday 11:00am Mass will be live streamed on Facebook.
Should I go to Mass? – The choice is yours.
- Bishop Spalding has given dispensation from our Sunday obligation until June 30.
- If you or anyone in your family answers ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you and your family should not attend Mass.
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
- Have you had a temperature/fever in the last 24 hours?
- Have you had a loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
- Considerations for not going:
- existing health conditions
- living with someone at high risk for COVID-19
- If you are worried attending Mass would add undue stress to you or jeopardize your health or that of someone you live with.
- If you come to Mass, consider attending during the week to help lighten the load on Sunday.
What will be different at Mass so we have a safe environment for all?
- You are strongly encouraged to wear a facemask. Masks will be provided if you do not have your own.
- Children 2 years old and older are encouraged to wear a facial covering.
- Social distancing between families.
- Follow usher directions.
- Limited entrances to the church
- Narthex, First Avenue, Second Avenue-Community Center will be open daily; Crye-Lieke parking lot will be open evenings and Sunday only.
- Every other pew will be used in order to maintain social distancing.
- Ushers will direct people to a seat and direct dismissal.
- When the church meets maximum capacity, you will be directed to the Community Center where Mass will be live streamed.
- Holy Communion
- Only the Body of Christ (bread) will be given.
- You are strongly encouraged to take Communion only in the hand.
- will be brought to you by the priest or Eucharistic Minister.
- will be brought to those seated in the Community Center.
- No procession of gifts to the altar.
- Please continue to give online or use Text-2-Give.
- No physical touching, except within families. A wave, a smile will suffice.
- Holy Water will NOT be in the baptismal font or at the entrances.
- Hymnals have been removed from the pews.
- No altar servers.
- No nursery or children’s Liturgy of the Word.
- No social gatherings, no coffee after Mass.
What measures is St. Philip taking?
- The church has been deep cleaned and disinfected and will be routinely maintained.
- Between Masses all necessary items and areas will be cleaned.
- Rest rooms in the Foyer and Narthex are open and will be cleaned before and after each Mass.
- Doors will be kept open to minimize touching.
- Hand sanitizer is at all entrances for your use.
- The priests, deacons, Eucharistic ministers, lectors and ushers will have their temperatures checked prior to serving at Mass.
- Masks will be worn during distribution of Communion.
- Hands will be sanitized before and after serving Communion.
What can I do to help?
- Come EARLY when coming to Mass.
- Follow directions of the ushers & practice social distancing.
- Do not leave anything in the pews. Items left will be disposed of.
- VOLUNTEER! Many hands are needed to help St. Philip’s return to public Mass successful and safe to all who wish to come. We are in need of:
- Eucharistic ministers
- Help clean church after Mass
- To volunteer:
- English speakers, sign up here, or contact John Angotti at moc.nilknarFpilihPtS@ittognAJ.
- Spanish speakers, contact Fernando & Patricia Martinez: 615-579-5983 / 615-801-1021 or Ana Zarraga, moc.nilknarFpilihPtS@agarraZA.
- Or call the Parish Office, (616) 794-8588, and leave a message with your name and phone number.
- Training will take place on Sunday, May 17.
- Pass the word to family & friends that St. Philip is reopening!
- Sign up for Flocknote online at Flocknote.com
Will church activities and meetings resume?
- At the present time: No.
What about other sacraments?
- Confessions will resume in the church on Saturdays from 4-5:00pm. Other times are available by appointment.
- For Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals please contact Father Bala or Father Nick.
The Parish Office remains closed however, the staff continues to work and can be reached by email or phone.
The Bookstore is open by appointment only. Please call to leave a message at (615) 794-4236.
Where do I go for more information?
- Here at StPhilipFranklin.com.
- Signs and TV screens at the church.
- Contact the Parish Office at (615) 794-8588 or email moc.nilknarFpilihPtS@eciffO
- Text Father Bala at (615) 870-2171.
Please be aware that as we adjust to this new normal there may be changes. Thank you for your help and cooperation
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From the Bishop
May 7, 2020
My Dear People of God,
Over the past several weeks we have all faced unique and unprecedented challenges. In addition to the general stress and anxiety of the current health crisis, we have also had to go without the consolation of the public celebration of Mass. Recognizing that the nature of the situation has necessitated this decision, does not make the pain and sorrow any less real. The temporary cessation of public Masses I announced on March 17th was one of the most difficult decisions of my time as bishop. In saying this, I want to express my gratitude for the kindness, patience, and understanding of those who have embraced this decision with humility and trust.
As restrictions on public activities and gatherings begin to ease, it is my great joy to announce that we will begin a journey to resume the public celebration of Mass beginning on Monday, May 18. While a cause for celebration, it is important to recognize at the same time that these first steps are not simply an open call to return as normal. The risk of COVID-19 remains significant, especially to seniors and persons with existing health concerns. As we return to Mass, we must continue to embrace the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all in our community. With that in mind, although parishes may resume public Masses beginning May 18th, some pastors may prudently decide to wait a few more weeks. We are blessed with a great variety of parishes in this diocese, and that diversity allows for a certain adaptability. We especially do not want to put anyone at undue risk from a hasty or ill-prepared reopening. Our return to church must be measured, prudent, and gradual, as we responsibly respond to the situation.
As we embark on this joyful and yet challenging new journey in the life of our diocese, there are a few points I would like everyone to keep in mind:
- The ongoing risk of COVID-19 will necessitate some adjustments to the way we are used to celebrating Mass. This may at times lead to discomfort and frustration. The patience and charity of all involved will be essential to handling these changes well. In the coming weeks, let us not lose sight of what a blessing it is to be able to be able to celebrate Mass as a community.
- As we come together, we should be respectful of the norms and guidelines concerning social distancing. These policies are most effective when we work together and are all on the same page. Expect guidance from your parish about strategies for monitoring the capacity of the church and for maintain proper spacing in the pews. Your attentiveness to these measures will help everyone in the community feel more comfortable and peaceful when returning to church.
- The dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in effect through June 30th
- Those who have an active ongoing illness (including infection, flare of a chronic illness, etc.), anyone over the age of 65, those with a history of heart failure, lung disease, diabetes, ongomg malignancy, any immunosuppressive disorder, those on steroids or other immunosuppressive medications, those who have been advised by a health care professional not to attend Mass, and those who live with anyone with any health vulnerability, are strongly encouraged to remain at home at this time and refrain from attending Mass. Additionally, anyone who is worried that attending Mass would add undue stress or jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they live, are also encouraged to remain at home. I encourage pastors to continue the practice of livestreaming Masses in order to provide for the spiritual nourishment of those remaining at home.
• Similarly, I am encouraging pastors to offer special Masses on weekdays particularly for those 65 years of age or older. If you are a member of this vulnerable age group and wish to attend Mass, I strongly encourage taking advantage of these special Masses, even if you are in good health.
- Finally, please continue to pray! God is with us in this time of trial, and we should never lose sight of that. The inability to attend Mass has meant that many families have introduced new practices of family prayer into their homes. This has been an unexpected grace that has come in the midst of the current crisis. As we return to the communal celebration of Mass, I encourage you to preserve these new practices.
- Thank you all for your continued support and cooperation. Please keep our diocese, our churches, and our schools in your prayers in this challenging time. You are all in my prayers as well.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville