The Celebration of Mass
- The public celebration of Mass in the Diocese (with the exception of Funeral Mass and the Celebration of Marriage – see below) is suspended until and including Sunday 29th March, with immediate effect.
- The obligation to be physically present at Mass on Sunday / Holy Day is therefore suspended for everybody until further notice
- The faithful are encouraged to join spiritually in the celebration of Mass, either on parish radio or on web-cam.
- All encouraged to pray at home, including especially prayers for the sick and for those who are caring for the sick
The Celebration of Baptism
The Church continues to welcome those who come for Baptism. The following guidelines apply for the time being, as previously indicated:
- The congregation must be less than 100 people
- the celebrant will sign the child with the Cross without touching
- Where there is more than one child being baptised, a single jug of fresh water will be blessed and used.
- The anointing with the Holy Oils will be administered by the use of cotton buds.
The Celebration of Funerals
- No more than 100 people present
- Leave the space of one metre between themselves and those next to them
- Express their sympathies in a way that does not involve physical contact
- The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation is suspended for the time being.
- Arrangements will be made to Confirm them as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
First Penance and Communion
- First Penance celebrations suspended until after Easter.
- We have, for the moment, not considered suspending First Communion, because, in most cases, this is still over a month away.
- A further review can take place after Easter
The Sacrament of Marriage:
The Sacrament of Marriage may be celebrated as scheduled, taking into account that:
- The Congregation should be no more than 100 people
- Those present will be asked to sit at a distance of one metre apart
- Other than the couple themselves, of course, shaking hands or embracing in the Church should not take place
Pastoral Care of the Sick and Sacrament of Anointing
- No First Thursday/ Friday calls for April
- The anointing of the sick will be celebrated without direct physical contact. This is to protect the vulnerable from any risk of transference of the virus from outside the sick-room.
Chrism Mass and Holy Week
It is a little early yet to make definitive plans in relation to Holy Week. For the moment, suffice it to say that:
- The Mass of Chrism will be celebrated and the Holy Oils for the coming year will be blessed
- Further information will be provided nearer the time as to what may be possible regarding the Holy Week liturgies