Guidelines for Attending Mass

Coming Back to Mass at St. Mary’s Church

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will resume on Saturday, September 12th.

A general dispensation from the Sunday obligation will remain until further notice. The dispensation for the obligation to attend Mass will remain in effect. No one will be required to attend Mass when public celebrations resume.  You can view Sunday Mass online beginning at 4pm on Saturday evening on our website, Facebook and YouTube Channel.

From the Archdiocese of Newark: What to Expect When Public Mass Returns

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our Parish Community is of the utmost importance. May these steps guide us to sharing in meaningful worship experiences throughout all phases of reopening St. Mary’s Church. We thank you for your kindness, understanding, patience and cooperation in these challenging times. If you would like to be a part of our Parish Welcoming Team that assists our parish community in coming to Mass on Weekdays or Sundays, please contact Ole Olsen at the Parish Center 973-235-1100 or by email

For Health and Safety

  • If you are sick, please stay home.
  • Openly accessed areas of the Church are being cleaned daily.
  • Appropriate cleaning of the Church is being done before and after each Mass.
  • Holy Water fonts will remain empty until further notice.
  • Public Restroom access is restricted to emergency use due to state health mandates. If the restroom is utilized, please use the provided automatic soap and towel dispensers.


  • Before coming to Mass, please take your temperature. If you have a fever or are not feeling well, please stay home.
  • Please remember to WASH YOUR HANDS for at least 20 seconds before coming to Mass.
  • ARRIVE EARLY (15 minutes before Mass) and safely line up outside. Doors will open 15 minutes before Mass. Given the spacing requirement, those who come late may be asked to kindly return at another Mass time.
  • WEAR A FACE MASK at all times while on the parish campus (both indoors and outside) and maintain SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING (6 feet).
  • Please Enter Using the Front Doors of the Church or Bell Tower door on St. Mary’s Place (wheelchair accessible)
  • HAND SANITIZER is available and must be used upon entering and exiting. We also encourage you to bring your own so that you may sanitize your hands while in your pew.
  • You will be seated in marked pews to allow for social distancing in the Church.
  • No physical contact during the Sign of Peace.

Distribution of Holy Communion

  • At the time of Holy Communion, please remain seated until an usher directs you to come out of the pew. When directed process forward, keep a 6-foot distance from the person in front of you and keep your mask on.
  • Holy Communion is permitted in the HAND ONLY.
  • Once the consecrated host is placed in your hand, step to the side, lift your mask to consume the Eucharist, then immediately reposition your mask and return to your seat.

After the Final Blessing

  • REMAIN IN YOUR PEW until a minister or usher instructs you to move; exit the pew when prompted and proceed directly outside.
  • No private prayer or gathering after Sunday Mass is permitted to allow for Church cleaning.
  • Please do not congregate inside the Church

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on Saturdays from 4:00-4:45pm in the Church. In order to provide a safe environment during this time of Covid-19, we will not be using the confessionals. Reconciliation will take place in the Altar Server’s Sacristy, which is located through the doorway to the left of the Blessed Mother statue.  This Reconciliation Room will allow for proper social distancing and ventilation. Masks must be worn at all times while in the Church and during the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Reconciliation Room: Enter through the Bell Tower doors and make a left and walk towards the statue of the Blessed Mother. Go through the open doorway and the Reconciliation Room is through the door on the right.  

If someone is in the Reconciliation Room, we ask that you please wait in the Church in the area near the Blessed Mother.  Please maintain social distancing while waiting for your opportunity to go to the sacrament.

As you enter the Reconciliation Room, you will have the option of going to the sacrament anonymously behind a screen or sitting down face to face with the priest from a 6 foot distance.

When you are finished, you may stay in the Church to pray or to wait until Mass begins at 5pm.

Spiritual Communion Prayer –  Making A Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment 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.

Pope’s Prayer to Mary During Coronavirus Pandemic

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.


Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.