From Fr Dominic:
I can understand that recent headlines about the Coronavirus might be causing you concern. My wish is that you feel safe at Mass and do not worry about contracting the virus at Church.
Do follow the advice on the posters, if you blow your nose or sneeze, ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. Therefore, I think it is important that you know that we will respect your decisions as to the choices you make when participating at Mass.
We felt that it is prudent to remove the Holy Water from the stoups at the back of the church. You can make the sign of the cross and, as you have always done, genuflect or bow to the Blessed Sacrament before sitting down or leaving the church.
Sign of Peace
Understandably you may have concerns about sharing the sign of peace with your neighbour. In the ‘General Instruction of the Roman Missal’ it states the ‘Sign of Peace’ is used when ‘appropriate’, so I believe at this delicate time it should be left out.
Many have expressed concern about receiving the Precious Blood from the chalice and choose not to. In the interests of concern for all we will suspend reception of the Precious Blood until the infection has passed.
Receiving Host By Hand
Following the advice from the Catholic Bishop’s Conference, I need to ask everyone to receive the host in the hand for the time being. Direct contact with bodily fluids are the means of direct contamination for this virus and I need to make sure that the priest and the ministers of the Sacrament are kept safe from contamination.
Remember, the best line of defence is to wash your hands and to carry and use a little alcohol gel travel dispenser in your pocket.
In the meantime, let us keep in our prayers those with the virus, and those helping to care for them.