PURPOSE: To establish standard practices to meet local, state, and diocesan public health guidelines for sanitation of the church/parish hall spaces and objects used for worship.
SCOPE: This protocol covers all church and parish hall spaces, including restrooms, vestibule, elevator lobby, choir loft, etc. and all objects used for worship. It is to be followed by all those involved in the cleaning of space/objects, be they volunteers or professionals. This protocol will reflect cleaning standards indefinitely.
Space before opening on Pentecost Sunday:
Prior to the opening of the church/hall spaces they will be thoroughly sanitized:
Carpets steam-cleaned, floors mopped with disinfectant;
All areas of the church subject to common touch will be wiped down with disinfectant, including by not limited to pews/chairs, panic-bars on doors, door handles/knobs inside and out, elevator buttons, handicap push-plate, etc.;
Initial and ongoing cleaning of the organ and choir loft will be the responsibility of the Director of Music who will sanitize areas used by himself, cantor and any guest musicians we may have – there will be no choir for the foreseeable future.
All areas of the church subject to common touch will be wiped down with disinfectant immediately after and proximate to services, including by not limited to pews, panic- bars on doors, door handles/knobs inside and out, elevator buttons, handicap push-plate, etc.;. Product for cleaning and sanitizing will be provided by CINTAS.i
Carpet in sanctuary will be vacuumed weekly; floors will be mopped with disinfectant weekly;
Restroom (only one will be available for use in the foreseeable future) will be cleaned and sanitized every Monday morning after weekend Masses and Friday before weekend Masses. Restroom will not be available during weekdays. Parishioners will be discouraged from using the restroom and aware it is cleaned only on Monday and Friday. (This is current practice and has not been a problem. Use is infrequent.) The restrooms will be deep cleaned by CINTAS every other week. Soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes provided by CINTAS will be kept in the restroom for personal use;
Hands-free hand sanitizer will be available for use for everyone entering the church as well as in the elevator to contribute to a clean environment;
Holy Water fonts will be empty and covered with a white drape to discourage habit of touch. (The are marble pillars at the entrances and cannot be moved.) Drapes will be sprayed with disinfectant after each Mass and washed monthly.
Priest will sanitize all sacred vessels with sanitizer wipes and rinsed with soapy then clear water before opening on Pentecost. (The cleaning process described below is already standard practice.)
All vessels will be cleaned as above after use at Mass. If they are not used again that weekend, they will be wiped again next time they are to be used;
All sacred vessels placed in the tabernacle during the Mass will be cleaned with sanitizer wipes after each Mass and returned to the tabernacle before the next Mass;
Ultra-violet wands will be used to sanitize all Communion hosts, including those in the tabernacle between Masses
All objects that cannot be wiped such as bulletins, Book of the Gospels, Lectionary, will be subject to sanitation with the ultra-violet wand.
Priest will sanitize his personal sacred vessels (chalice and patten) before and after each Mass.
Priest will no longer use a common ciborium for the large host held at consecration containing hosts to be distributed during Communion, but will use a separate patten to avoid contact between the host on which he will have breathed during the words of institution and those intended for distribution to the congregation. The priest will now consume the entire host on his patten, not sharing parts of it after host is broken at the Agnus Dei;
Priest will remind congregation of the need to use hand sanitizer before coming forward to receive Communion and to maintain appropriate physical distance to contribute to a clean environment.
This protocol intended to establish a permanent standard practice, and will apply to restrooms currently closed when they are opened.
This protocol to be revised as changes are made to local, state and diocesan guidelines.
Adopted: 05/13/2020/Revised June 25, 2020
i Text in italics is a new addition to the protocol or replaces old language.