Communion with God is our ultimate goal in life – with prayer, celebration of the Liturgy, study and meditation on Scripture, retreats and spiritual growth opportunities. We believe that Christ is present in bread and wine, made Body and Blood of Christ through the Eucharistic Prayer of the Community, lead by the presider (priest or bishop) acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ). We believe that our Communion with God through the Eucharist is so powerful and intimate that we believe we consume the Body and Blood of Christ by eating and drinking as the Lord commanded.
During this time when we are unable to receive the Eucharist physically, Pope Francis invites us to make a Spiritual Communion – that is to invite Christ in to our hearts, and ask that Christ come close to us, and that we come close to Christ. We do this in moments of prayer following the Communion Rite at Mass, with the following prayer:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
We also join ourselves to the Body of Christ, and Pope Francis invites us specifically to join ourselves with the Body of Christ suffering the most from the Coronavirus epidemic – those afflicted, those who have lost their lives, the doctors, nurses and entire medical community caring for patients. St. Paul writes: When one member of the Body of Christ suffers, the entire Body suffers. We are one Body, one Spirit in Christ.
The blessing offered to us by Pope Francis a few weeks ago, is the Urbi et orbi blessing to the City of Rome and to the World offered all of us listening the Plenary Indulgence.
There is solid evidence that the COVID 19 virus is airborne and is expelled from the mouths of people who are contagious whether or not the person has symptoms. In singing and public speaking, it is known from those who study this, that we expel and aerosolize micro-droplets that can hang in the air for a very long time (3 hours or more). It has been determined that singing in public, speaking loudly in public, yelling (like at a sports event), and other activity is a fertile ground for super-spreading of the virus.
Therefore, to protect the health and safety of our community – priests, parishioners, volunteers and staff, the County guidelines allowed churches to reopen provided that singing by the congregation be stopped for the time being. We will one day sing again with full voice in the church, and I have spent more than 30 years working as a liturgist and pastoral musician. I want people to sing, it has been my vocation, but now, until there is a vaccine or the virus passes, we cannot sing in public.
Click Here to access the Link to ADLA Restrictions.