March 28, 2020
Dear Christ the King Family,
The COVID-19, or Corona Virus, has put us in extraordinary times. Because of the extraordinary times, I have decided to write a letter to you to explain a very important initiative which our Bishop is giving us temporary permission to do: create home chapels where we can keep the Lord in Eucharist for us to receive during live streamed Masses on Sundays. Please be patient with me as I explain the rationale behind this temporary initiative. Then, I will explain its implementation.
Our Communion, the larger Church, was founded by courageous families who left everything to have a valid Eucharist. In 1999, protestant pastors met in San Clemente, CA to form an alliance that would leave behind the idea that the Eucharist is merely a symbol. As they all read the early writings of leaders of the Christian Faith, they began to realize that as Our Lord Jesus tells us, “With God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26),” even changing bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Our Catechism asks the question, “How does the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?” (Q-180, CICCEC). Implicit in the question is that the bread and wine do indeed become His Body and His Blood. We, as a people of God, have no doubt that Eucharist is Christ, Christ is Eucharist.
Our parish is currently celebrating Mass every day because we believe that Christ’s physical and spiritual presence is necessary to fight this pandemic. This is how powerful and mighty we believe that Our Lord in Eucharist is. I want to remind you that Jesus said participation in this sacred action, this sacrament, is Life giving — Eternal Life giving, and there is a void without it, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you,” and “for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life.” (John 6:53-54).
This time of social distancing has placed a burden upon us, who shepherd Christ’s flock, to keep us safe here on earth and keep us safe for eternal life. Therefore, Bishop Gregory Ortiz, Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast, has granted permission for all the churches in the Diocese to allow for the establishment of “Temporary Home Chapels” for the “repose of the Eucharist.” We cannot and will not withhold your Communion with Jesus Christ during this time when you need him the most.
This means, we can create temporary spaces in our homes, created with the love and respect we have for Jesus Christ, and invite him into our homes in a real and tangible way. We can create small altars in our homes. In the coming weeks, we will be consecrating hosts in containers (called a “pyx”) to be picked up at the Parish and taken home.
This means that the God of the Universe will be in your home just like he is in the Tabernacle at Christ the King. This is very big. It means we should treat this with the utmost respect and admiration, which I have no doubt you will do. Attached is a “how to” guide with explanation. There will also be a video to watch online as I explain further the mystery of the Tabernacle, the names of things like “pyx”, “high altar”, “Tabernacle”, and “reverence” (used as a verb, not a noun).
Before Mass begins, retrieve the pyx from your Temporary Home Chapel and remove the Lord from the pyx just before the celebrant says, “Lamb of God…” As the celebrant says “Lamb of God…” please hold him up and then we will consume him together during the live streaming of Mass.
We are taking measures to ensure safety. We are limiting the number of hands which will touch anything. Again, the preparation of the hosts in the pyxes will be done with latex gloves and other personal protective equipment to ensure your safety and the safety of your family. If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The clergy of the parish will give you a call before Friday to see if you are interested in having a Temporary Home Altar. On Friday, you will be able to pick up your pyx at the Parish between 5pm and 7pm, or on Saturday between 10am and 12 noon. Each pyx will contain three Sundays’ allotment. If we should continue to celebrate remotely, we will make arrangements for replenishment at that time and another letter will come to you.
I have been praying for you daily through this process. Please keep me and our Bishop in your prayers.
In His Service,
Fr. Mark Kurowski
ICCEC Catechism, Q-180 – How does the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?
- The mystery of the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Christ is an action of the Holy Spirit that occurs when we re- present (anamnesis) the meal of the Upper Room in accordance with Christ’s command. We ask in prayer that the Holy Spirit make this bread and wine the Body and Blood of Christ (epiclesis). Christ is really present in the bread and wine, in the same way that the Word became flesh (incarnation) and dwelt among us in Jesus.
John 6:27; 33-34; 41-59 (“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51). I Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:17-32. Matthew 26:26-29. Mark 14:22-25. Luke 22:14-20. Hebrews 7:22-28; 9:11-15. Leviticus Chapters1-7.
( “Who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven,  And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;…”)
Q-94. What do we mean when we say that He “came down from heaven,” when, as God, He is everywhere? A. It is true that God is everywhere and so He is always in heaven and always on earth; but on earth He was at first without a human body; after the Incarnation God the Son appeared in the flesh. Philippians 2:5-10. John 3:13.