The Baker Administration has given the greenlight for houses of worship to start conducting in-person services. But Abington’s faithful should doublecheck before donning their Sunday best, because not every church in town will be opening its doors. And for one Abington church, the doors will soon close permanently.
United Church of Christ in Abington is not yet resuming in-person services, according to Pastor Kristy Coburn. She recently discussed her decision with her parish during her weekly Facebook Live “Backyard Chat” video.
“The bottom line is two-fold,” the Rev. Coburn told the Abington News in an email, “first, there are a lot of logistical changes and paperwork that would need to take place before we could return, and second, with all the restrictions, we would likely be left feeling emotionally and spiritually sad when we left.
“[It’s] a combination of both of those reasons, along with the recommendations from our denomination and the [Massachusetts Council of Churches] that we have decided to continue to suspend in-person worship.”
Some of the state’s public health recommendations include limits on the number of congregants, no choral singing, and no post or pre-service gatherings.
St. Bridget’s, which is part of the Light of Christ Catholic Collaborative along with Holy Ghost Church in Whitman, will be opening its doors this weekend for the first time in more than two months. But there will be changes.
Parishioners must call or email the parish office and RSVP before attending a service, according to a notice from the church. In addition, masks are required, missals will not be available, and collection baskets will be placed by the entrance. The full text of the notice is below.
The Rev. Tim Rogers, who has been serving as pastor-in-charge of Joy in Christ Lutheran Church, said the church will be closing permanently on June 14. The church as been partnering for the past several months with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Holbrook, where Rev. Rogers is also the priest-in-charge. The Abington News hopes to have more information about the closure of the church in the coming days.
Below is a notice provided to parishioners of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church about services resuming this weekend.
Re-Opening The Light of Christ Catholic Collaborative
Holy Ghost Church in Whitman and St. Bridget Church in Abington
As our Safety Committee makes the necessary preparations to reopen our collaborative we are required by the state and the diocese to implement the following safety protocols.
- Our Collaborative will resume normal Mass schedule beginning Saturday May 30th to Celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.
- Parishioners will be required to call the Rectory or email firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule themselves for the Mass they plan to attend to maintain social distancing guidelines.
- The state and the Diocese reccommends that those with respiratory issues, compromised immune systems or other health issues refrain from attending Mass and continue to watch the televised Mass. The dispensation for Mass is still in effect.
- Masks will be required when entering Mass and must remain in place during Mass
- Missals will not be available during this time. If you wish to bring a Magnificat or other worship aid please keep it with you and take it when you leave.
- Parishioners will be directed to seats by Ambassadors to maintain the state mandate of monitoring social distancing.
- Parishioners will be seated from the front of the church to the back and upon exiting will be directed to exit the church starting from the back row to the front.
- There will be no congregational singing.
- Collection baskets will be placed at the entrance of the church as there will be no collection or bringing up of gifts as this time. We still encourage online giving and appreciate all that our Parishioners have done during this pandemic.
- Our trained Ambassadors will direct each pew when it is time to come forward for Communion. Please come forward with mask in place by the side aisles, reception of Communion is by hand only and step 6 feet to the side (remove your mask and consume the Host, then replace your mask), alternate with the person in the opposite as you to return to your seat by the center aisle. We will have people to guide you during this time of temporary change.
- Please follow all signage and direction of our Ambassadors, they are there assist you and keep everyone safe.
- No congregating after Mass within the church or in the parking lot.
- Bulletins will be available on the pathway to the parking lot
Feel free to reach out to Deacon Paul Breadmore email@example.com with any questions as he is leading the Safety Committee.
We look forward to seeing you soon and welcoming our parishioners back to prayer and worship as a community.
Church goers should check with the houses of wprship