Dear Brothers and Sisters of Saint Mary Parish,
Today is traditionally a day to meditate upon the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A fitting prayer from today’s Mass: O God, who in this season give your Church the grace to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary in contemplating the Passion of Christ, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that we may cling more firmly each day to your only begotten Son and come at last to the fullness of His grace. Amen. Bishop Stika has also offered his reflections on the upcoming Holy Week.
As with the other daily Masses the past several weeks, the daily Mass on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week will be lived-streamed at 8 am. Live-streaming is available both on the parish website under the “Divine Worship” tab, and on the parish Facebook page.
The live-streamed Mass for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord will be at 8 am this Sunday. Live-streaming is available both on the parish website under the “Divine Worship” tab, and on the parish Facebook page. Blessed palms will be preserved and distributed at a later date.
The Sacred Triduum rites will be live-streamed according to the following schedule: Holy Thursday at 7 pm, Good Friday at 3 pm and the Night Vigil of Easter at 8:30 pm. Live-streaming is available both on the parish website under the “Divine Worship” tab, and on the parish Facebook page. Easter Sunday Mass will be live-streamed at 8 am.
Baptisms are postponed for now, but newborns in danger of death should be Baptized without delay by an extraordinary minister (e.g. parent or healthcare worker) by pouring water over the child’s head while saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”. The parents should then ensure that the baptismal information is communicated promptly to the parish office for recording purposes.
The church is still open from 7 am to 7 pm. We’ve received several questions about whether it’s possible to make private visits to the church during the day, given the most recent executive order from the governor of Tennessee. The State of Tennessee includes the following in its list of “Essential Businesses and Services“: Religious and Ceremonial Functions. This includes, but is not limited to: religious facilities, entities, groups, personnel, services, rites, and gatherings, including weddings and funerals, provided that the Health Guidelines set forth in Executive Order No. 22 [as amended by Executive Order 23] are followed to the greatest extent practicable… Executive Order 22, clarified and strengthened by Executive Order 23, permits: Visiting a place of worship or attending a wedding or funeral; provided, that the Health Guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable. However, it is strongly encouraged that the public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members.
The Sacrament of Penance is available according to the following schedule: Sundays @ 7:30 am, 10 am, 1:30 pm & 5:30 pm. Wednesdays @ 8:30 am & 6:30 pm. Fridays @ 8:30 am. Saturdays @ 8:30 am & 5 pm. Please use the tissue paper provided to open the door, place it beneath your hands at the prie-dieu (kneeler) and dispose of it afterwards.
Those of you who are continuing to make your financial contributions to the parish during this difficult time are very much appreciated by our staff who depended upon your generosity. For those who haven’t already done so, you can drop off your contributions in the office vestibule mail slot, or we encourage you to make online donations.
Please help us get the word out about the special “helpline” section of our website. Parishioners in any kind of spiritual, emotional or material need related to the present social distancing measures can either call the number or submit the online form for assistance.
Finally, take a look at some of the hundreds of masks our hard-working parishioners are making! Special thanks to Southeast Building Solutions for donating the filters!