Friday 27 March 2020
- We are all reminded to keep in our prayers those who have contracted the virus and their families. There are already some priests and deacons who have contracted the virus or are in isolation. Please pray for them especially.
- Priests, deacons, parish pastoral workers and all parish staff have a special obligation to act safely in all their pastoral activities. Where possible, parish staff should work from home and only venture out in full compliance for the current public health norms. People should be careful not to take risks which might endanger themselves or others, particularly those most vulnerable.
- First Friday calls: many dioceses have cancelled all First Friday calls. The Episcopal Conference has prepared an “Order of Prayer with the Sick and the Housebound for use on the First Friday and Other Occasions” (attached to this e-mail) which can be conducted by personal telephone call.
- Holy Week. Holy Week ceremonies will be conducted without any public participation. In your communications to parishioners, it would be important to make available the times of celebration to which people can have access by web-cams or other media. All ceremonies are to be conducted indoors. There are to be no liturgical processions outside the Church on Palm Sunday. Parishes are to use the Third Alterative for Palm Sunday to be found in the Roman Missal.
Instructions regarding the other Holy Week celebrations will be published in due time.
By direction of the Holy See, the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil can be celebrated only in Cathedral and Parish Churches, but not in Seminaries, Communities of Clergy, Monasteries or Religious Houses.
- In the Archdiocese of Dublin, the Chrism Mass will not be celebrated on Holy Thursday but will be postponed until later in the year. In case of necessity, consecrated oils from last year will be made available to parishes.