Public Masses to Resume

Posted on May 22, 2020 in: General News

PUBLIC MASSES TO RESUME: Under the direction of Bishop Alfred Schlert, Masses can resume in Carbon County June 1, 2020.

Mass attendance will be voluntary in the yellow phase. Those who do not feel safe, or who have compromising health conditions, should not attend. The dispensation from the Mass obligation will remain in place throughout the Diocese until the green phase. The Bishop has left the schedule/number of Masses up to the discretion of each Parish Priest.

Mass Schedule begins Tuesday, June 2, 2020 @ Immaculate and Thursday, June 4 @ Saint Joseph

Immaculate Conception: Tuesday @ 8:00 AM; Saturday @ 4:30 PM
St. Joseph Church:  Thursday @ 8:00 AM; Sunday @ 8:00 AM.

Mass intentions for the remaining Masses will continue to be said privately by Father Ward.

Saint Joseph & Immaculate Conception will have slightly different protocols due to their individual resources.  The following is for Masses held at Saint Joseph Church:


ENTRANCE: Only the handicap door will be used for entering/exiting the church.  Please do not use the Main doors to enter/exit the church.

SANITATION: Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance. Dispensers have been purchased but are currently on back-order. We hope to have them in place within a couple of weeks. Ushers will be dispensing sanitizer as you enter IF NEEDED. You are also encouraged and welcome to bring your own.

LIMITED CAPACITY: Attendance will be limited for Mass. At Saint Joseph no more than 78 people will be permitted to be in the church at one time.  Once we reach that capacity there will be no one else allowed inside church.   This number may slightly vary if space allows, depending on family size attending.  Immaculate Conception Church will have a capacity of 50 people.

PEW SPACING: Only every second pew will be available and the choir loft will be closed.  Those attending are asked to follow physical distance guidelines and remain at least 6 feet apart within the pews.  Families that live together may obviously sit together.  Potentially we can have 4 individuals, or 3 sets of couples, or 1 family, depending on the size, allowed per pew.

COMMUNION: Distribution of Holy Communion will take place following the closing of Mass.  There will be marks on the floor to follow for the 6 foot social distance allowance.  Please line up single file in the center aisle. Communion can be received in hand or on the tongue but we encourage everyone to receive in the hand to keep exposure risks to a minimum for both you and Father Ward. Father will wear a mask during distribution of Communion. Do not lower your mask until you reach Father to receive Communion.  After, please exit the church through the handicap door.

OFFERTORY COLLECTIONS: Collection baskets will not be passed during Mass.  There is a collection box at the handicap aisle where you can deposit your envelope as you enter/exit.  You may also continue to drop them through the mail slot or send through the Post Office.

BULLETINS: Will be available in Church. Please do not leave them in the pew, take them home with you. You can also sign up to have the bulletin emailed to you. Please contact the Rectory office (570-325-3731) if you would like to have the bulletin electronically delivered.

INDIVIDUAL CONFESSIONS: St. Joseph Church, Mondays: 6:30 to 7:00 PM;   Immaculate Conception, Fridays:  4 to 5 PM.

OTHER NOTES: There will be no Hymnals or prayer cards available in the pews.   There will not be an organist or a choir for any Mass.  Gathering in the parking lot is not permitted.  


USHERS: We need at least two to three (2-3) ushers for the Masses to help counting the faithful as they enter the church, and to post and restrict more from entering when capacity is reached, dispensing sanitizer until our dispensers arrive and to make sure everyone is following social distance guidelines within the pews/during Communion.

CLEANING CREWS: Cleaning would be done on Mondays (after Sunday Mass) and Fridays (after Thursday Mass or it can be done after Thursday Mass whichever you prefer). This would involve wiping down pews, handles, doors, and cleaning bathrooms.  Gloves and masks will be provided.  Mopping and dusting can be done like in the past.

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