March 11, 2020 –
As a Church, one of our sacred duties is to look after the health and safety of the community in our parishes and schools. Part of that duty is to help prevent and respond to infectious diseases that may be in the community.
In light of growing concerns about the coronavirus and its effects on those who have contracted the disease, we ask each of our parishes and schools to implement the following precautionary measures to help prevent the transmission of any virus.
- Urge the faithful to stay home from Mass if they are experiencing any signs of illness. Ensure your community that in this cold/flu season, and especially in light of concerns about coronavirus, an individual does not commit any sin by avoiding Mass to protect others from the potential spread of illness.
- For those who do attend Mass, we recommend congregations suspend the practice of shaking hands during the Sign of Peace or elsewhere, and of holding hands during the Our Father.
- We recommend emptying (and cleaning) all holy water fonts.
- We recommend our parishes suspend offering parishioners the Cup of the Most Precious Blood during Holy Eucharist, out of an abundance of caution. If this is a regular practice at your parish, it may help to remind the faithful that the Consecrated Host is the full Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, meaning an individual does not need to receive from the Cup in order to achieve full Communion with Christ.
- The Office of Christian Worship has provided prayer resources including a prayer for the sick, a prayer for an end to the coronavirus and information on Acts of Spiritual Communion for those unable to attend Mass