Reopening of Holy Name of Jesus Stratford, CT






In Every Language

it is the same Message! 

Please, practice safe distancing.

Wear a mask.

  Stay home if you are ill. 

Wash your hands.


If you choose to attend Mass at

the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus

As you review the following information highlighting what needs to happen and what to expect as we prepare to reopen Holy Name of Jesus Church for public Masses, please reflect on the above Scripture quote. While most us are sooooo ready to be done with Covid-19, that is simply not the case. The threat posed by the Coronavirus is still with us and the uncertainty of what direction(s) it will take in the future weighs heavily on us all.

Everything that we must do and every practice we must follow is grounded in the Biblical, ethical and political demand to care for one another. All of the following instructions and guidelines approved by health, government and Church officials exercise an abundance of caution in safeguarding your personal health and that of your neighbor’s.

With that said, please realize that nothing that is essential to our nourishment, growth in faith or celebration of Liturgy will change. We will still gather together in God’s name. Together, we will proclaim, hear and reflect on God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. We will be invited to partake of the Eucharist for nourishment and strength. We will be sent forth to be the presence of Christ to everyone we meet.

Because of the need to safeguard one another’s health and well-being, that which will be different and probably foreign to most of us is the following:

  • If you are not well, part of those classified as vulnerable, ‘at risk’ or pose a risk to others, you are encouraged to continue worshipping from home. The obligation to attend Mass continues to be suspended.
  • To worship in community at Church you will be required to make a reservation as we are limited in the number of people who can gather in public (a maximum of 100).
  • The Church bathroom will be closed due to the fact that we do not have the ability to clean and sanitize it after every use.
  • Proper apparel for Mass now includes donning a face mask that must be worn the entire time you are on Church grounds. Gloves are permissible but unadvisable.
  • A safe distance of at least 6 feet must be adhered to from the moment you arrive until you exit Church property.
  • Seating in Church will be assigned. Prepare yourself for not sitting in what you previously thought of as ‘your pew’!
  • Your reservation will be checked in the parking lot and validated in the Church vestibule. After which you will be escorted to your seat for that Mass. Only members living in the same household will be allowed to sit together. The pews have all been marked to allow for the distancing requirement for your safety.
  • Given the threat of the further spread of the virus, we are required to keep a log of everyone in attendance as a way to contact those present should a member of the congregation later be diagnosed with the virus.
  • So that Mass will start on time, plan to arrive at least 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time. As you can see, the check-in and seating process will take a while. No one will be allowed in once Mass has started.
  • While all the parts of the Mass proper to you as a member of the assembly will be observed, there will be no singing for the time being. Breath particle displacement when singing is much farther than when speaking. Until further notice, any singing parts of the Mass will be carried out ONLY by the Cantor and musician.
  • There will be no exchange of any kind of physical contact…Not when you are greeting even those you haven’t seen for a while…not at the Sign of Peace…not when you say good-bye. Six-foot safe distancing must be adhered to at all times.
  • The only way to enter or leave the Church will be by the Main doors on Barnum Avenue.
  • As stated, you will be escorted to your seat AND at the end of Mass, you will be dismissed by rows in order to avoid close contact with others.
  • There will be no Entrance, Offertory, Eucharist or Closing Processions.
  • Offering boxes will be placed at the end of each aisle for you to place your contribution for the ongoing work of the Church. Please place your offering in the box as you enter or depart.
  • The offering of the Chalice with the Blood of Christ will continue to be suspended.
  • All are strongly encouraged to receive Eucharist in the hand.
  • Those wishing to receive on the tongue will be seated in a defined area and will receive after all others. We are required to clean and sanitize our hands after every individual receiving on the tongue.

Everything on this daunting list of changes in the way we are used to going to Church is required and necessary. Only in adhering to them can we be compliant with government regulations, best medical practices and Diocesan directives in the post onslaught of Covid-19.

Please realize, however, that none of these measures change the

true reason we gather: to praise God, seek forgiveness, be formed and

transformed by the Word of God and nourished by the Eucharist!

So, given all that needs to be in place to safeguard you and your fellow parishioners, here’s what you need to do if you wish to participate and celebrate Mass once the Church reopens.


  1. Visit SIGNUP GENIUS and register online or call the Parish Office at 203.375.5815 between 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM on Tuesday or Wednesday to reserve a spot for the following Sunday. You need to speak directly with someone in the Office. Leaving a voicemail does not guarantee a reservation.

  2. Arrive at least 20 minutes before Mass is scheduled to begin.

  3. Approach the Church Main Entrance via College Street.

  4. Just prior to entering the vestibule a parishioner will scan your temperature. Anyone with a fever will not be allowed to enter the Church.

  5. Once inside the vestibule one of our welcoming team members will verify your reservation, sign you in and then you will be escorted to your seat for that Mass.

Mass will begin at the scheduled time, so again, arrive early…Be patient…Keep your mask on…follow all directions and instructions.

ONCE MASS BEGINS…Participate! Remain in your pew. Wear your mask!


You will NOT come forward to receive Communion. Fr. Bert or Deacon Dan (for now there will be no lay ministers of Communion) will approach the end of each aisle. Maintaining the 6 foot safe distance, we will come to you.

  1. Wearing your mask, you will step into the aisle.
  2. Fr. or Dcn. will offer “The Body of Christ”
  3. You will proclaim “AMEN” Then you will lower your mask and fully extend your arms with your hands cradled.
  4. Fr or Dcn will place the Eucharist in your hand.
  5. You will step back into your pew, consume the Holy Eucharist and then replace your mask and be seated.
  6. Fr or Dcn will then proceed to the next open pew.

Please Note:

  • If there are multiple household members in a pew, the person sitting on the aisle should get up, walk toward the Main Entrance of the Church until there is enough room for all those in that pew to be standing single file in the aisle. All would then follow the above format (2-5)
  • It is permissible to wear glove to receive the Eucharist. However, be advised that you will be required to deposit your gloves in receptacles provided at the end of each aisle as you depart.
  • Ministers will be nearby Fr. or Dcn. at all times to assist with purifying our hands between distributions if necessary and after each time someone chooses to receive on the tongue.


In order to maintain the necessary safe distancing requirements, you will be directed to leave by aisle at the conclusion of Mass. All should leave promptly and in an orderly fashion always keeping in mind the need to wear your mask and maintain the safe distance.

In conclusion….I hope you can see why patience, good humor and flexibility are needed! Do not doubt that this too, in time, will pass! Let us joyfully reconvene to Praise our Lord. Let us also, and always, take care of one another as we pray for a cure and an end to this pandemic.

Blessings, Peace, Health and Safety,

Fr. Bert

Mass will also be livestreamed on our YouTube Channel: HolyNameofJesus, Stratford 

Weekday Mass will begin on Tuesday, October 13 and will be open to the Public every Tuesday-Thursday at 8:30 am and Communion Service on Friday mornings at 8:30 am. More info to follow.

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