Public Mass


Arrangments for the public celebration of Mass in the Sacred Heart Church during the Coronavirus period.

We have received approval to begin celebrating public Mass. Thanks be to God!

Public Masses will be celebrated on Tuesdays (10am Mass), Wednesdays (10am Latin Mass), Saturdays (10am Mass, Novena and Confessions) and Sundays (9am, 10:45am & 5:15pm Masses).

You may need to queue outside the Church (we recommend arriving in good time) and will be invited to enter by stewards. Everyone entering the Church must use hand sanitising gel before being shown where to sit by the stewards. Pews have been arranged so that parishioners can sit with two meters distance between them. This distance must be maintained, so since usually everyone sits or kneels at the same time, this will not be a problem unless someone cannot kneel and remains seated with a kneeling person behind them (therefore within the safe distance). So if you cannot kneel, please mention this to the stewards, who will take you to a place without somebody behind you.

The seating arrangement will permit two parishioners per longer pew, one in the shorter ones.

   •  a couple will count as one person.

  1. One whole family may sit in one pew which will be theirs exclusively.

  2. Please avoid touching the pews as you walk up the church, and please remain in the seat where you are placed, as your place needs to be wiped down after Mass.

Please be aware that once the Church cannot safely seat parishioners with the necessary social distance, the doors will be closed and nobody thereafter will be admitted. Standing at the back of church or in the church porch is not permitted, apparently. We apologise in advance if it proves necessary that you have to be turned away.

Please be tolerant if you are directed to one place when you would prefer another. This is difficult for all of us.

For your safety and to reduce the risk of fire, we have removed all votive candles (because of the use of hand sanitising gel which is 70% alcohol!).

It is important to note that we have been directed that the lavatory facility must be totally unavailable.

On Sundays the Church will be opened at 8.30am for private prayer, then the Church will be left open for a short time after each Mass for private prayer after 10:45am and 5:15pm. We ask people at the 9.00 Mass to leave promptly after Mass (to allow for cleaning before the 10.45) and to make their Communion thanksgivings at home.

On weekdays when there is a public Mass, the church will be opened at 9am for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and will remain open for a short time after Mass.

The Bishop has asked all priests to keep Masses short at this time and there will not be any hymns or singing. Sacristans, readers. Ministers of Holy Communion and servers will not be needed, as Fr Seán will manage this all for now. Holy Communion will be given under one kind during Mass onto your open flat hand. If you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, this will be given at the end of Mass at your own risk, and the kneeler will be available.

Separate ciboria will be used for giving Communion on the hand and on the tongue to prevent any possible cross-contamination.

Public Masses will all be live streamed and recorded as normal, and on days where there is not a public Mass, you will still be able to watch Mass online, except some Thursdays when there will not be a Mass.

Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended, so if you are at all nervous about public gatherings, please remain at home, and if possible assist at Mass online.

The rosary at 12pm will continue on some days, but for the time being it will online only. Our Parish Halls will remain closed until further notice.

We ask that you all be patient with us as we try to work out the best practice for public Masses. No doubt we will have further updates and adjustments to the way things are done weekly and possibly within days.