IMPORTANT Message from Very Rev. Fr. James F. Spera, Pastor Church of the Assumption & Dean. Union County North:
As a follow-up to yesterday’s announcement of new directives for the Archdiocese of Newark, this is to provide clarification on BURIALS.
>Burials only may take place with only one funeral director, one witness and one priest being permitted into the cemetery with the deceased. Essential staff of Catholic Cemeteries will accept the deceased and perform the interments. Other than this, all Catholic Cemeteries and Mausoleums of the Archdiocese of Newark remain closed.
With this exception, as noted also below, all directives below remain in force.
The Archdiocese of Newark’s Coronavirus Task Force continues to monitor the ongoing pandemic situation and to aggregate guiding information from federal, state and local officials. Based on the latest information shared publicly, the following are the new directives issued by Cardinal Tobin for the Archdiocese of Newark and a reminder of his prior directives still in effect.
NEW DIRECTIVES effective March 25, 2020:
· Wakes and funerals must be postponed until further notice. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. >Burials may take place with only one funeral director, one witness and one priest being permitted into the cemetery with the deceased. Essential staff of Catholic Cemeteries will accept the deceased and perform the interments. Other than this, all Catholic Cemeteries and Mausoleums of the Archdiocese of Newark remain closed.
· All baptisms must be postponed until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
· All weddings are postponed until further notice.
· The Sacrament of Reconciliation is suspended until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
· All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until further notice.
· Parish offices must be closed until further notice. Employees who provide essential services should be limited and on staggered schedules.
· Pastors should see that the Blessed Sacrament is renewed in tabernacles regularly from celebrations of private Masses.
The following directives REMAIN IN FORCE since March 18, 2020:
· All public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass suspended until further notice.
· All public celebrations of the Sacraments and other public forms of worship suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, previously scheduled Confirmations, celebrations of First Communion, penitential services, Communion services, and Liturgies of the Word.
· Anointing of the Sick: A priest may use a cotton-tipped swab or cotton ball as an instrument to anoint the sick person.
· Holy Water should be removed from all fonts.
· Celebrations of Mass should continue via live-streaming. If you have not done so already, you are urged to enroll your parish in the archdiocesan Parish Support Initiative that provides one online platform for the faithful to support the critical needs of their parish communities and other parishes in need. Contributions also are gratefully accepted through usual channels including mailed envelopes, other online giving, Annual Appeal, etc.
· The Archdiocesan Center remains closed with limited and staggering of hours.
· Catholic Schools remain closed as directed by the State of New Jersey.
· All Archdiocese of Newark Catechetical education and events sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) are suspended.
Anyone who has had direct exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 is advised to carefully follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding isolation and quarantine protocols.
Archdiocesan employees will continue to work remotely, and should consult their supervisors for further guidance and to determine work assignments.
We encourage you to continue to visit https://covid19.nj.gov for accurate and updated information available to the residents of New Jersey. Also, please monitor our website at www.rcan.org/covid-19 and follow the Archdiocese of Newark’s social media channels @NwkArchdiocese for archdiocesan related announcements.
We continue to keep all affected individuals, families, first responders, and especially those on the front lines in our prayers throughout the coming days. Thank you.
Please remember your financial support of our Parish during these difficult days.
In order to remain current with their studies, all Religious Education students will be expected to complete their classroom work through the “home school” online program. Details will be emailed to parents.”
Important Message from Our Pastor, Very Reverend James F. Spera
Cardinal Tobin has given permission for Churches to be opened beginning Sunday, May 17, 2020 as part of Phase One in the reopening of Parish Life. The Cardinal advises that each Parish Church follows the directives of our State Officials regarding safe distancing and the wearing of masks while in Church.
Our Church will be open on Sundays from 7:00 A. M. until 1:00 P.M. for private prayer. The Church will be open daily from 7:00 A.M. until 9:00 A.M. Confession will be heard each morning from 7:30 A.M. until 8:00 A.M. We ask that you observe the following:
- Masks must be worn by all individuals while in the church.
- Individuals and families must maintain social distancing (six feet) between each person while in the church.
- That we avoid “gathering in a group”. Conversation outside the Church is permitted with proper distancing.
Cardinal Tobin has continued to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday as well as from the “Easter duty” (the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the season of Easter). We look forward to Phase Two when weekday Masses will commence, and Funerals will be permitted. Phase Three will allow for Sunday Masses with the continued practice of “social distancing”.
May the Lord direct our steps as we carefully begin to come together once again to be the “Family of Families at the Church of the Assumption”.