With Governor Sununu's emergency statewide stay-at-home order going in effect tonight (Friday) at 11:59 p.m., the diocese has clarified how this will affect the parishes in New Hampshire, including ours. Fortunately, there will not be many more drastic changes from what we are currently observing, but the current 10-person limit will have to be strictly enforced. That means that there can never be more than 10 people (and now that will include the priests) at any time in one location. We will need your cooperation so that we are able to continue to offer, for instance, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions. During scheduled times of Adoration, it will be essential that you are signed up if you are going to show up so that we don't exceed the number. For confessions, it will require diligence on your part (especially Saturday, which seems to be quite busy) to make sure that no more than 10 people are in the Church and no more than 10 are in the basement. For those waiting outside, you will have to be sure to keep your distance from others and that will best be done in your cars. Those waiting for confessions at the rectory front window should park their cars on Green Street and wait there for the confession. The same will apply in Winchester -- the limit must be kept in the Church and distance in the parking lot while waiting.
Sadly, it has been determined that since the peak of the virus in our area is not expected in the next week, Masses with the public will not be permitted in the near future, including Holy Week and the Triduum. The Masses and ceremonies will be celebrated but without the attendance of the Faithful. This will truly be a sharing in the Passion of Our Lord for all of us.
We will continue to broadcast Mass daily on the internet. Until our own system gets installed (hopefully in the next few days) we will keep using the stcorona.livemass.net website. The Mass on Monday through Saturday will be at 8 a.m. and the Sunday Mass will be at 9 a.m. The schedule for Holy Week and the Triduum will be published soon on the website.
We will work to provide as much as we can through our website and our daily broadcast of the Masses to lead you into and through Holy Week. Given this most heavy cross that none of us can now escape, it is essential that we approach this from a spiritual rather than a worldly perspective. Our Lord is inviting us, in a way, perhaps more clear than ever before, to share in His Passion. This year's Passion will truly hurt but, if we are willing to share our cross with His, will lead us to unending joy.