Special congratulations to our SHCS graduating class of 2021! Last night our seventeen eighth graders received their diplomas at a special ceremony based on the Liturgy of the Word. Please pray for Carder, Adrienne, Adam, Camila, Matti, Charlotte, Ricky, Ethan, Carter, Kalu, Jacob, Sarah, Sameyah, Eshal, Ryan, Jonathan and Adam as they embark on the new adventures that God has in store for them.
Thursday, June 3, also marked the last day of school at Sacred Heart for the current academic year. It was certainly an unprecedented year! With the exception of almost two weeks during Advent, we were able to offer consistent in-person learning all year. In our school office, Casey Scarce continues to field regular communication with families looking into options for the 2021-22 school year. Please be in touch with her as soon as possible if you’d like to learn more about enrolling a student at Sacred Heart.
As I indicated at the end of my correspondence with you last week, the conclusion of the school year is allowing us to take further steps in restoring certain aspects of how we celebrate Mass.
This weekend, as we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ), two aspects of how we participate in our Eucharistic celebration will change dramatically. First, you’ll notice that yellow tape has been removed from pews and floors. We are no longer keeping alternate pews empty. Of course, please continue to respect the space of folks around you, and consider allowing a bit more distance in line as you approach to receive communion.
Second, we’re invited to sing! Hymnals and missals are back in the pews, and we will again display hymn numbers on our screens. Our cantors will return to the ambo to lead us in the responsorial psalms, and will again guide us in the various Mass parts we’ve been used to singing (for example, the Gloria, the Alleluia, the Memorial Acclamation, and the Lamb of God). Our songs are not performances—sometimes folks decline to sing because of their perceived poor vocal quality, but that’s not the point. Our cantors and choirs are leading us in prayer, and when we sing, we participate in that prayer. Let’s pray enthusiastically together!
Finally, please see the joint statement from Bishop Knestout, and other bishops in our region, regarding the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass. They have been keeping a close eye on COVID-19 infection rates and evolving regulations in mid-Atlantic states. Based on this, they have discerned that the obligation to attend Mass should be restored for attendance at Mass on the weekend of June 26 and 27. Important details and qualifications are in the announcement, which can be read by clicking here.
Exactly eleven years ago, I celebrated Mass for the first time on June 6, the Feast of Corpus Christi and I’m excited to celebrate it again with you this weekend.