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Temporary Changes in Pastoral Practices

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In response to the ongoing situation and concerns regarding the transmission of coronavirus COVID-19, Bishop Patrick has instructed changes in certain Pastoral practices across our Diocese. These will continue until further notice:

1. Sign of Peace

: This will be suspended at Mass.

our tradition of greeting each other in Peace, person to person with a handshake could risk person to person transmission of the virus should an individual be a carrier.

we are still able to share the Peace verbally and by gesture (a bow, open hands)

2. Holy Communion

: Holy Communion from the Chalice will no longer be offered

: Receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is discouraged. We should all receive Holy Communion into the hand.

the prime means for the transmission of the virus is via microscopic droplets from a carrier of the virus. Communion from Priest to people on the tongue represents a major risk for the transmission of the virus should any person be a carrier.

we recognise the deep faith held by those choosing to receive Communion on the tongue. To recognise the current circumstances of public health concerns and adjust our practice represents an act of loving charity towards fellow members of our community.

3. Holy Water

: Holy Water stoups to be emptied

4. Other Measures

: Hymn Books are withdrawn from use

: Increased care will be taken when our church is cleaned e.g. the cleaning of door handles, light switches

: Shared towels will be removed from public areas.

a secondary source for the transmission of the virus is by touch followed by absorption into the body via mouth, nose, eyes (hence advice being to avoid the touching of the face). It is entirely sensible to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus via regularly used surfaces onto which it may have become present.

Subject to how the current situation develops in the days and weeks ahead, further measures may be announced.

We thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

Further information on coronavirus COVID-19 can be found:

World Health Organisation