Drive-thru confessions, outdoor Masses: Heroic priests find creative ways to nourish faithful
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has asked all bishops, priests and deacons to “find creative ways to give Our Daily Bread to the faithful members of the Body of Christ,” but clergy around the world had already begun to answer the call to find innovative ways to deliver the sacraments and otherwise keep the faith alive in their parishes and dioceses.
“Pray that all bishops, priests and deacons may find creative ways to give Our Daily Bread to the faithful members of the Body of Christ,” pleaded Bishop Strickland in a tweet.
“The virus is horrendous but spiritual death by starvation is worse,” he continued. “May the Eucharist truly be the source & summit of our life in Christ.”
Bishop Strickland isn’t the only one issuing an appeal for ingenuity in these extraordinary times.
“Priests: Come up with creative ways of making sacraments available!” encouraged Fr. Lamansky, a priest studying in Rome.
“One possibility: Sit in the parking lot and set up a monstrance. People can come and pray without leaving their vehicles. Offer Communion through the car window (thoroughly sanitizing your hands after each time),” suggested Lamansky.
“Just because public Masses are suspended doesn’t mean people should be without the sacraments. Think outside the box. Come up with ways to make sacraments available in a manner that avoids contagion and respects diocesan policies and civil laws,” added Fr. Lamansky.
Drive-in theatre-style Mass in Indiana
Father conducted the Mass from a trailer perched on a hill above the church parking lot where parishioners participated from their parked cars.
“Parking Lot Mass was a success! We had positive feedback! Thanks to Fr. Whittington for coming up with an innovative solution so that we are able to attend Mass and receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament while also being compliant to the COVID-19 safeguard directives,” declared a statement on the parish’s Facebook page.
Elsewhere on the St. Nicholas Facebook page, a message notes that while the parish’s planned St. Joseph feast day dinner has been canceled, parishioners are encouraged to “Bring bread to be blessed & taken home.”
Drive-thru confessional in Maryland
After the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. shut down public Masses, Fr. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland was undeterred from keeping confessions available to his parishioners during the time Mass would normally be held and multiple other times during the week.
“Since I cannot guarantee your physical safety by opening up the Church or the office to visitors, I have set up a “drive-through confessional” and will be hearing confessions in the Church parking lot to maintain a six-foot distance while penitents stay in their cars,” wrote Fr. Holmer in a letter to parishioners.
“The lights might not be on for you in the Church but they will be in the parking lot!” he added.
“This is turning out to be a Lent unlike any other,” noted Fr. Holmer. “I believe the Lord is inviting us to an increased concern for the welfare of our neighbors and offering us the opportunity to make sacrifices for them. What a great Lenten penance for us all.”
First published on LifeSite News