Dear Bereaved Family,
St. Thomas Parish offers you our deepest condolences. To comfort bereaved families is among our most solemn responsibilities.
The COVID-19 crisis prevents us from doing so in as open and free a manner as we have done in the past. The only reason for this is to keep you as safe as possible when you come to our church for your funeral service or memorial Mass. If we are unable to meet certain high expectations, we regret that as much as you do.
The following precautions apply:
1) Respect the way our church has been organized for social distancing. Some pews are arranged for individuals or couples who come from the same household. Others can accommodate larger groups also from the same household.
2) Only every third pew is open to provide for social distancing. Please do not open up closed off pews on your own. Our sacristan will be on duty to assist you. Please let him make any rearrangements you think necessary.
3) Please limit the number of people participating as much as possible. Though a large building, with social distancing restrictions our church can safely fit about 80.
4) Printed booklets may not be brought into church and handed out.
5) Readings will be done by ministers of consolation to limit the number of persons in the sanctuary.
6) Please enter only by the front door where there are sanitizing stations to be used on entering.
7) Masks covering mouth and nose are to be worn at all times except for children under 2 years of age.
8) The bereaved family is responsible to make sure that no one in attendance is sick, showing symptoms of an illness or has a temperature.
9) Holy Communion is distributed after the service. How distribution will take place will be explained at each service.
10) For funerals, the coffin will be brought immediately to the front of the church so that family and other mourners can enter the pews at a safe distance from one another.
11) Please have the funeral director and his staff bring the coffin in without pallbearers.
12) Bathrooms are not currently available except in extreme emergency situations.
13) The elevator is available for one person at a time or several people from the same household. Please use the sanitizer before using the command buttons.
14) Please remember to remove any items such as flowers or photographs you have brought into the church.
Once again, we regret these restrictions/precautions and if the situation allows them to be modified or removed, we will inform you right away.
With prayers and best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ.
Msgr. Frank Maniscalco
(Rev. Msgr.) Francis J. Maniscalco