All public Masses suspended and churches closed
With a heavy heart, we announce that public Masses are suspended and all churches are closed until further notice.
In response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic we are no longer able to gather for public acts of worship in our Catholic churches in England and Wales. This began on Friday evening, 20 March 2020, and will continue until further notice. On 23 March, the Prime Minister also announced that all churches must be closed. Read the Prime Minister’s full statement.
On the video below, Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers a message of hope with Jesus Christ at its centre.
What does this all mean for Borehamwood?
- Masses will be privately celebrated by Fr Dominic and Fr Antonio and will be streamed live at these times:
- Saturday Vigil Mass (6:00 pm);
- Sunday Morning Mass (10:00 am);
- and weekdays, Monday to Friday (9:15 am)
- St Teresa’s Church and Ss John Fisher and Thomas More will be closed until further notice.
- Baptisms: Baptisms will be deferred until such time that the public health advice is that congregations can gather safely.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation: Confession may now not be offered even by appointment, but see Pope Francis’ advice to the faithful.
- First Holy Communion Programme: please see this announcement.
- Confirmation Programme: please see this announcement.
- Matrimony: all weddings are postponed.
- Anointing of the Sick: No pastoral visits will be made to people who are self-isolating until the isolation period ends. When anointing the sick, the Oil of the Sick may be applied using a cotton bud which can be burned afterwards (one end for the head and the other for the hands) and the priest extend his hands over the sick person for laying on of hands, without physical contact. This has been confirmed as a valid mode of celebrating the sacraments which involve “laying on of hands.” Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should follow advice from the staff on infection control.
- Funerals: We will exercise great pastoral sensitivity to this issue. The funeral service should take place at the graveside or at a crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or crematorium authorities. Arrangements should be made for a Mass to be celebrated in memoriam when congregations are allowed to gather
Parishes with Live Streaming
Apart from our very own St Teresa’s Church, there are several parishes in the Diocese of Westminster which stream their Mass services live. For a full list and links, see Other Parishes with Live Streaming.
- Daily Mass readings: provided by Universalis, using the Jersualem Bible and the Grail Psalms which are used in UK liturgies
- The Order of Mass (PDF) produced by the Liturgy Office
- Spiritual Communion
- The Liturgical Calendar for the Diocese of Westminster
- Masses Online (a leaflet produced by the Diocese of Westminster listing parishes with live streaming of their Mass services)
- Prayer guide for health workers by Paul O’Reilly SJ
- Pope Francis’ Marian Prayers for the Month of May
- A Prayer in Time of Coronavirus by Archbishop Michael Jackson
- Slow down, it’s COVID Time by John O’Donohue
- No one is alone! Prayer when confined to your home (PDF)
- Prayers during a time of flu and illness (supplied by the Liturgy Office)
- Prayer to your Guardian Angel when you cannot come to Mass
- Prayer for a pandemic by Cameron Bellm
- When Mass Cannot be Celebrated Publicly: a leaflet produced by the Liturgy Office
- Communities 1st: If you need help during the coronavirus crisis
- #PrayersOfHope Posters by Church Together in England
- Self-isolated? Why not make it a retreat? (PDF)
- Coronavirus: What You Can Do To Help (poster by Caritas Westminster)
- Living the Faith without the Sacraments: an excellent article by Catholic Answers
- Resources During Mass Suspension: compiled by the Diocese of Westminster
- Praying Unceasingly with the Liturgy of the Hours