St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Lowell

A Parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

374 Stevens Street, Lowell, MA 01851-3607 | 978-454-5143 | [email protected]

Covid-19 Information

Please watch the video below from the Archdiocese of Boston to view the safety steps to be taken as we return to mass and then find specific re-opening information about our parish below the video.

We Are Working Diligently…

All updates will be sent out via Constant Contact. They will also be posted on our website and the bulletin. If you do not currently receive our Constant Contact emails —which is by far the most efficient and effective mode of communication these days, please send an email to Debbie McAndrews  with your first name, last name, and the email at which you would like to receive these notifications. 

towards opening our churches for public worship on the weekend of June 6th and 7th, however there is NO GUARANTEE that this will happen. There are numerous guidelines—set forth by both Governor Baker and the Archdiocese—that need to be strictly followed (see resources in left-hand sidebar). If we are unable to implement these safeguards in time, this WILL keep us from meeting this date. Please be assured that we are doing ALL that we can to bring the Eucharist back to our parish families as soon as is possible.

Below is the outline of ‘what it all looks like’ and ‘how it all will work’ as it exists TODAY AND based on opening on June 6th and 7th. The Mass schedule will be as follows.
 

Saturday @ 4:00 pm
and
Sunday @ 11:00 AM

We ask that you please deliberately read and thoroughly follow the instructions/guidelines outlined below for both registering for and attending Mass. 

Note that ONLY WEEKEND MASSES are being addressed as of this time. Once DailyMassesbegin, we will address that subject separately.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED TO ATTEND MASS

Why reservations? Because of the math. This past Monday, Gov. Baker outlined Phase 1 Openings, which allow churches to be open under the following guidelines: only 40% of capacity—add social distancing—could be in church at any one time. With a capacity of 700+/- at St. Margaret, 40% of that is 280; add social distancing—6 ft to the left, to the right, in front and behind of—you are down to 102. With a pre-COVID average weekly Mass attendance of nearly 600  at St. Margaret… need more be said? Extremely limited space!

Reservations will allow us to eliminate large lines and needless drives, minimize confusion and questions, and most important, worship safely. This will stand true for as long this 40%/social distancing guideline is in effect.

Online Reservations

  • will open at 9 am on Monday* prior to the weekend Mass you wish to attend
  • will close at 12 pm on the Thursday prior to the weekend Mass you wish to attend

Phone-In Reservations
Because of the office has capacity guidelines that we must follow, on-site staff will remind limited, therefore we ask only those who  DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE WEBSITE use this option.

  • phones will NOT be answered outside of these times; we remain lightly staffed
  • reservations will NOT be accepted via voicemail or email messages.

PLEASE! Don’t Make Reservations if…

you are part of  the many that fall into vulnerable populations, you are highly encouraged to remain at home and watch the mass via our St. Margaret of Scotland Parish YouTube Channel. The weekly mass will be available each Saturday at 4:00 PM. We would love to see you but value your health and safely first and foremost.

MAKING YOUR ONLINE RESERVATION FOR MASS ATTENDANCE

  • A link and access code will be sent to you via Constant Contact on Sunday evening.
  • If you have not received this notice by Monday morning, please call the rectory to resolve the issue.
  • Select the date, and time you will be attending Mass.
  • From the drop-down menu, select the number of people from your household that will be attending Mass with you. Children 2 years of age and under do not require a reservation.
  • In the comments, list each member of your household for whom you are reserving a seat.
  • The Lector and EME assigned to a particular Mass will not need to register, but their family members will.

PROTOCOLS FOR ARRIVING TO MASS

  • Arrive early in order to be seated. Seating will begin 30 minutes prior, and end 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start of Mass. Doors will be closed and latecomers will NOT be allowed to enter.
  • Before exiting your car, please put on your face mask. Children age 5 or under are not required to wear a mask.
  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet as you approach and wait in line.
  • Only necessary items can be brought into the church, such as keys, hand sanitizer, offertory envelope.

 PROTOCOLS TO BE FOLLOWED FOR ADMITTANCE INTO THE CHURCH 

  • If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, PLEASE STAY HOME!
  • Masks are required (except for children 5 years) at all times… in line and in church.
  • Please practice social distancing of 6 feet while in line.
  • Everyone must enter through the front door nearest the handicap ramp of the church and exit out the front center door as directed by the volunteers.

         One-way traffic minimizes contact with others.

  • Ushers will be seating everyone; follow their lead to your designated pew.
  • Choosing where you would like to sit will NOT be allowed. The church will be filled front to back, side to side.
  • Pews have been marked for social distancing, allowing all to remain 6 feet apart from others in your pew, as well as in front and behind you.
  • Members of the same household are permitted to sit together and are not required to follow the 6-foot distancing rule. 

PROTOCOLS TO BE FOLLOWED DURING CELEBRATION OF MASS 

  • The congregation is NOT to sing.
  • Baskets will not be passed at the Offertory. Your offering may be placed in a designated receptacle  as you enter or exit the church. We strongly encourage online giving.
  • There will be no hand-holding during the Our Father or hand-shaking during the Sign of Peace. 

PROTOCOLS TO BE FOLLOWED IN RECEIVING COMMUNION 
 

  • The ushers will direct the communion lines. In needing to keep with the social distancing protocol, even individuals who will not be receiving communion will be required to leave the pew and follow the prescribed traffic flow, allowing everyone to return to their original seat. There will be NO JUDGEMENT of those who choose not to receive Communion. With all that is going on, there are plenty of reasons to make this decision. So please do not let this be a reason to not worship with us. 
  • You will approach the Priest/EMHC via the center aisle. Directional tape has been placed.
  • There will be a plexiglass barrier between you and the Priest/EMHC.
  • Remove your mask, place your hands under the glass.
  • The Eucharist will be ‘dropped’ into your hand, avoiding contact.
  • Consume the Eucharist, then return to your original row via the side aisle. Directional tape has been placed.

PROTOCOLS TO BE FOLLOWED DURING DISMISSAL 

  • After the closing blessing, please remain in your pew.
  • Pews will be dismissed one at a time by the usher(s).
  • Everyone must exit through the left side door and proceed directly to their cars, continuing to practice social distancing.
  • Please keep masks on until to arrive at your car.
  • Congregating, unfortunately, will not be allowed.   
  • Handicapped guests will be escorted out last, allowing plenty of room for the safe maneuvering of wheelchairs/walkers.