We welcome all back to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg, MS!
Whether you worship here with us, at another area parish, or you are from out of town, we welcome you with open arms!
The following are some guidelines that we have established during Phase II of reopening the church for worship. All guidelines follow CDC, state, Diocessan, and local guidelines.
Bishop Kihneman of the Diocese of Biloxi continues to dispense the faithful from the Sunday obligation to attend Holy Mass IF you are part of the vunerable population. The faithful will be able to fully attend Mass beginning the weekend of March 20-21, 2021.
The vulnerable population are encouraged to shelter in place. We will continue to Live Stream Mass on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. in English, 1:30 p.m. in Spanish and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m.
If you are a liturgical minister, and wish to remain on the schedule, please contact Christopher Vineyard at 601-583-9404, or email [email protected]
QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY BEFORE COMING TO MASS
All Parishoners must be able to answer NO to the following questions before entering the church:
NO NEED TO CALL THE PARISH OFFICE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND MASS:
Beginning March 20-21, Registration will not be required or collected.
- Parishioners are responsible for remembering which Mass they attend and we ask that you notify the Parish Office if you test positive to COVID.
- The vulnerable population are encouraged to shelter in place, or consider attending the 4:00 Saturday Mass.
- Those who live under the same roof (spouses, families, etc.) count as one space and will sit together in a pew.
-The 10:30 AM (English), 1:30 (Spanish), and 8:30 Thursday Mass will continue to be broadcast live.
Mass times at Sacred Heart Hattiesburg:
10:30 a.m. (livesteam)
1:30 p.m. (in Spanish & Livestream)
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE CHURCH:
- Parishioners must wear a mask, that covers the nose and mouth, unless under the age of 4 or due to health issues.
- Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early. This gives us ample time to make sure everyone's hands are sanitized, and an usher may seat you and your family.
- All doors will be open for entry and exit.
- Upon arrival, someone will sanitize your hands.
- When you enter the church, an Usher will show you where to be seated. The church will be filled starting at the front (including trancepts) to the back. While we know everyone wants to sit in their spot, this option will not be available during this time. Think boarding an airplane.
- If you have children, and think you will need to go outside or to the vestibule for quiet time, please let an usher know upon arrival so we can seat you accordingly. The Cry room will not be available.
-Once you have your seat, please use this time for personal prayer. Please keep talking and noise to a minimum. Please do not move from your seat while the ushers are seating others.
WHAT AREAS HAVE WE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DURING THE WEEK AND DURING MASS:
- The Cry Room/Balcony, Sacrasties, vesting rooms, choir area and musician area (around the piano and organ) are closed to the public, and are considered "off limits."
- The Chancel area (where you "step up" from the floor around the Altar, Pulpit, etc) should be respected as off limits. Please do not enter this area unless you are a Lector, Commentator, Cantor, or a member of the staff. During this time, there is a lot of "Behind the Scenes" activities happening in these areas, and it is not possible for everyone to wear a mask while serving during the liturgy.
- Our newly renovated restrooms will be open, as well as the handicapped restroom located at the back of the parish offices. Please be courteous to others.
- Parishioners are required to wear masks, unless under the age of 4 or due to health issues.
- Social distancing requirements should be observed at all times. Social distancing guidelines are 3 feet.
- If you bring your own hand sanitizer from home, please do not share it with others outside of your family. DO NOT bring any disinfecting wipes, or cleaners into the church. These products will ruin the finish of the surfaces and pews in the church, and will add to the cleaning efforts. The Parish has utilized a very powerful sanitizing agent that is used before and after every Mass, and is sprayed several times a day during the week. This agent has been proven to be safe for our pews, floors, kneelers, and any other surface that may be touched before, during, and after Mass.
- You will be required to use hand sanitizer when you enter, before Holy Communion, and any other time that interaction may happen.
SOCIAL DISTANCING DURING MASS:
- All pews are now open to everyone. Please keep a "social distance" of 3 feet between you and the next family.
-Try to avoid touching the top of the pews, if at all possible.
- We understand that you may see people you haven't seen in a while. Please respect them and others around you by maintaining a quiet environment.
WORSHIP AIDS AND PUBLISHED INFORMATION FROM THE PARISH:
- Missalettes are now available in the church. Please do not remove these from the pews. Parishioners may stop by the parish office during business hours to pick up a missalette to use at home during the live streaming of the Mass or to bring back and forth.
- Please be mindful of all choir, musicians, support staff, and clergy. Please use social distancing when you see these great people. They have been with everyone since day one, providing enhancement to our liturgies.
- VERY FEW, if any song sheets may be distributed before Mass. If you use one, please take it with you when you leave. DO NOT leave it behind for the next Mass. A few bulletins will be available. Consider leaving the paper bulletin for someone without internet access, and read it on our Facebook page or our website.
HOW OUR LITURGY HAS CHANGED DURING THIS TIME, AND RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION:
- The Sign of Peace has been omitted temporarily. We have adopted a simple "wave" or "peace sign" to those around you. We encourage you to participate.
- If Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are needed, they will sanitize hands before receiving Communion, put masks on and sanitize hands again before receiving the ciborium, distribute the Blessed Sacrament, and sanitize hands after returning the ciborium to the altar.
- At the time of Communion, an usher will come forward and guide you to the aisle. Please do not stand up, cut across pews, or get in line until an usher has shown you out. Follow the flow of the line.
- Parishioners will wear masks and sanitize hands as they come forward to receive Communion. If you are comfortable and in charity to others, we encourage you to receive the Body of Christ on your hands. Be aware if you receive on the tongue the communion minister will have to sanitize their hands every time someone receives on the tongue. If you must receive on the tongue, please let an usher know, and we ask that you approach Holy Communion at the end of the line.
- When you come to receive Holy Communion, wear your mask. Then, accept the Eucharist in your hands. After you have the Eucharist, step aside, remove your mask, and take the Eucharist. Replace your mask and return back to your pew immediately, maintaining a 3 foot distance between each other.
- Mass has not ended- after you have received Communion, flow back into the line and back to your designated pew. Do not leave the church.
MASS HAS ENDED, LET US GO IN PEACE:
- After the closing prayer and hymn, please be seated. Please go ahead and set your kneeler in the "down" position. Please exit the church in a calm and orderly fashion, keeping in mind those around you. Please have all belongings, trash, and song sheets in your hands and ready to go.
- Because the church needs to be empty so we can sanitize for the next Mass, this time after Mass cannot be used for personal prayer. When your usher dismisses your pew, please follow a 3 foot distance, and exit as fast as possible. Please go straight to your vehicle. Do not socialize in groups. An usher will come and ask you to leave.
- Fr. Ken, Fr. Alwin, Deacon Golf, and members of the staff may wish to greet you in the vestibule or out on the front steps of the church. The center doors exiting to the outside will be locked if they are outside or in the vestibule. DO NOT unlock and exit these doors. When you get outside onto the steps, please send greetings and virtual hugs as fast as possible and keep moving to your vehicle. If you have information you need to pass along to Father or staff, please call the office during business hours, or send an email. If it is urgent, please get with a member of the staff, be prepared to leave your name and number, and we will pass the information on immediately.
INFORMATION FOR DURING THE WEEK AND ATTENDING A LIVE STREAMED MASS:
- Holy water has been removed from near the doors. Parishioners may refill their complimentary bottle that was given during the Easter season at the dispenser near the St. Joseph altar. Tissue, hand sanitizer, and a small garbage bin will be set up next to the receptacle along with instructions for proper use.
- Confessions are now by appointment only. Please call the office for available times.
- Information concerning Adoration and other events will be posted to our Facebook page, website, and sent in emails as soon as it is available. If you are not on the parish email list, please email [email protected] to be added.
- If you come to the church during the week, please observe social distancing, and use the sanitizer located at the entrance of the church. The only door open during the week is the door on the St. Joseph side, by the office.
- Live streams will continue to be broadcast on Sunday at 10:30 and 1:30, and on Thursday at 8:30. Please participate with your family while you are at home.
-During a streamed Mass, we begin our stream 15 minutes before Mass is to begin with a music prelude. Please note that there are live microphones in the church, and they will pick up noise, including talking and wispering. Please stay as quiet as possible during these 15 minutes. Also, be mindful of the camera, and do not walk in front of them except during Communion.