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The Prayer Life of a Parish Never Stops Even in a Pandemic

The Prayer Life of a Parish Never Stops Even in a Pandemic

By Sr. Denise Herrmann, CSA, Pastoral Associate & Director of Liturgy and RCIA

As the news of COVID-19 came upon our country along with the publication of precautions that were necessary to prevent its spreading, Church officials stepped into action. On March 12, Bishop Hying of the Diocese of Madison informed the diocese of a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days. Then immediately, on that weekend of March 14-15, civil authorities put a limit on the number of people who could gather in one space.

Again in just a few short days, things changed quickly. On March 17, Bishop Hying announced the suspension of public celebrations of the Mass throughout the Diocese. However, the priests of the parishes still would celebrate Mass in their churches, but without a congregation. Immediately technology efforts were increased, and our parish was live streaming the celebration of the Mass each day.

In an attempt to chronicle the efforts of our priests to provide parishioners access to the prayer life of our parish, here is a listing of liturgical and devotional prayer that continued amidst these months of the pandemic:

  • Live streaming of each day’s Liturgy of the Hours - morning, noon, and evening
  • Live streaming of the Mass each day, with the Spiritual Act of Communion
  • Opening of the church every day but Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for parishioners to come and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament
  • The priests being available to hear confessions in the mornings and again in the late afternoons until 8 p.m.
  • On Palm Sunday the blessed palms were set on a table in the circular drive for parishioners to drive by and pick up
  • The liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter morning were live streamed
  • On Good Friday afternoon, the church was open for anyone to come and privately venerate the cross. That evening the Stations of the Cross were live streamed
  • On Holy Saturday morning the praying of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary was live streamed
  • On Divine Mercy Sunday, the second Sunday of the Easter Season, the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Reflection was live streamed
  • Cor ad Cor: First Friday Adoration on May 1 was live streamed
  • In the Easter Season, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • On Friday, May 8 in the morning, a simple May Crowning was live streamed

We commend our priests for all the efforts made to keep the prayer life of our parish going amidst the pandemic. Their availability, visibility, and providing ways for parishioners to pray and stay connected to the parish despite the lack of public congregating have been a great spiritual gift. The Church keeps on praying, and even more so in this critical time.

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