May 09, 2020
Current measures while under the state of emergency
[Contact from Father Masato Hayashi - Parish Priest]

Machida Church, brothers and sisters
Chief Priest Masato Hayashi

How are all the members of the Machida Church and all the baptismal applicants and seekers?
This is Hayashi, the chief priest.

Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and ask for its work, now that it is difficult to gather concretely.

On May 4, the period for issuing an emergency declaration following the outbreak of the new corona virus was extended to May 31.
As a result, public masses and activities and gatherings within the church will also be cancelled.
This outbreak of the new corona virus has made it impossible for us, the basis of our Christian lives is to "gather at the church and celebrate the mass together".
This is because this virus may be transmitted to people without subjective symptoms, and may pass to people nearby.
In addition, in order to prevent infection, it is essential to avoid the so-called "three Cs"(closed space ,crowded places, close-contact )", but unfortunately the church's space is in all three denseness.
From the above, unless the coronavirus epidemic is stopped to some extent, "public masses", that is, masses where an unspecified number of people gather, must be discontinued.
I believe that no one has losing their faith in this case, but it seems that many people are worried and anxious about not being part of the mass and being able to control the Eucharist.
Some of you may think, "If you can't take part in the mass, can you at least consecrate the Eucharist?" However, I would like to ask everyone as the chief priest.
When you are longing for the Eucharist, remember your fellow church members who are also longing for the Eucharist and praying at home.
And please pray for your friends.
Regarding communion, I am now offering a private mass every morning at 7 am to send spiritual communion and blessings to everyone.
When you have a prayer time at home, pray that "Our Mass at the Machida Church is now dedicated" and pray that you will all commemorate the spiritual communion.
Is possible.
(* You can receive the spiritual communion in various ways.
For details, see "March 30, Concerning Spiritual Communion" in the "New Coronavirus Infection Notice" on the Catholic Tokyo Archdiocese website.
Please refer to the) Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and ask for its work, now that it is difficult to gather concretely.

Next, I will describe some things.

* Future Machida Church schedule
- Confirmation ceremony
 -Postponed after next year On 17th of this month, we were planning to have Archbishop Kikuchi to hold a confirmation ceremony during the mass, but the mass became impossible.Once again, I would like to ask the Archbishop to hold a confirmatory mass next year.

- First communion
 -postponement within the year It was planned to be held on the day of "The Eucharist of Christ" on June 14, but it will be postponed.
As soon as the public mass is resumed, I would like to start a study session under the guidance of Sister Yoshimura and select a suitable day to celebrate the mass of receiving the first communion.

- Baptism ceremony
 -postponed after resuming public mass ? Machida Church has volunteers who have been preparing for receiving washing since last year.
Now that the public mass has been cancelled, it is unclear when baptismal mass will be available.
Once the public mass is reopened, I would like to set a date and hold a baptismal ceremony with the blessings of my colleagues.
All applicants, please wait for a while.
Everyone at Machida Church, please pray for your future friends.

* Visit of the priest's bed (oil painting for the sick)
If you want to visit a priest for a congregation in bed, please follow the steps below.
- Hospitalization or stay at a facility: Please confirm with the hospital / facility whether or not you can visit.
- Home recuperation: Please get the consent of the priest visit to the family living together.
If you can then visit, call the church.

* Visit of the priest's bed"Mourning prayer" request in the mass
If you would like to mourn the dead and pray for those in need in the private mass I have dedicated, please call the church.
It is difficult to specify the date, but I pray in order.

* Sacrament of forgiveness
I think that some people may desire the sacrament of forgiveness, but it is difficult to do the confession and hearing charges that must be done in a closed space in the first place.
Until the public mass resumes or a new policy is issued by the parish, the Sacrament of Forgiveness will be postponed.

* Visit to the Eucharist
I think that some people may want to come to the church and pray in front of the Eucharist.
Currently, there is no open mass, but the cathedral is open during the day (from 8:00 to 18:00), so you can visit the Eucharist itself.
But I dare to call you.
Please pray at home now.
Think of those who are forced to work outside, including those engaged in medical care.
Visiting the Eucharist is not necessary, but it is "urgent" at this time.
Avoid rushing out.

We must do our best to search for different masses' shape of the future.

By the way, looking at the news, while the emergency declaration period was extended, the self-restraint request began to be lifted depending on the region and type of industry, and it seems that the virus's vigilance may be relaxed (a large bookstore in the city center Business has resumed, and I am also fighting against temptation).
However, the second and third epidemics hit the spot where I was relaxed, which is evidenced by the history of infectious diseases in the past.
From now on, let's stay calm and try to prevent infection.
It is said that the emergency declaration period may be terminated before 31 days depending on the situation.
Then, at the same time, is it possible to restart the public mass? Things are not so simple.
There are many problems that need to be cleared for public masses, such as ensuring the distance between people, changing the air, disinfecting seats and chant collections, etc.
In the future, and perhaps for the long term, we will offer masses differently.
We must do our best to search for its "shape".
The road ahead is difficult, but let's continue to trust us, trust God who poured our grace, and walk without loss of hope.
We'll let you know when there's a new move.
As the chief priest, I send a blessing to everyone.
May 9, 2020