THE DIOCESE OF DERRY
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PARISHONERS
After the 10 o’clock Masses tomorrow, there will be NO Masses in any of the parish churches until further notice.
There will be Eucharistic Adoration in St Mary’s on Thursdays and Fridays from 12noon until 6pm.
Parish envelopes are now available in St Mary’s for collection at any time.
As there will be no weekend Masses until further notice, please leave your weekly envelope either in the Crib donations box in St Mary’s (located in the wall where the crib is placed) OR in the boxes available during Adoration OR in the parish office.
Please think about setting up a Standing Order instead of using the envelopes. Ring the parish office on 77762522 for the sort code and account number.
There is no cost to you or the parish for Standing Orders.
IRISH CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE STATEMENT ON
LITURGICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)
As bishops we present the following directions in the light of current public health authority advice in Ireland, north and south, aware that these might have to change at very short notice.
While acknowledging that the following directives will involve sacrifice for all, we encourage a positive engagement in order that the most vulnerable amongst us can be protected and so that the coronavirus can be contained.
It is important that hand sanitiser is proved at each entrance of the church.
Holy water fonts should remain empty at this time.
The Sign of Peace is not to be expressed by hand shaking.
Having received Holy Communion, and before and after distributing, the priest and ministers should sanitise their hands.
Priests are asked to provide an alternative to the practice of passing collection baskets through the congregation. The faithful are asked to continue their generous contributions to the upkeep of their parish.
Receiving Holy Communion in the hand
We ask that Holy Communion be received in the hand until the current crisis has passed.
The Sacrament of Baptism
During this time 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. Baptisms may be celebrated on condition that the attendance in church does not exceed 100 people..
The Sacrament of Confirmation
All Confirmations are postponed until further notice.
The Sacrament of Marriage
Church weddings may be celebrated on condition that the attendance in the church does not exceed 100 people.
The community of faith will always seek to surround the funerals and burials of its deceased members with love and respect. However, even now it is clear that people with underlying conditions, and who are vulnerable, should not attend funerals. For the same reason, when sympathising, people should not shake hands. Attendance at funeral services and Masses should be limited to close relatives and must not exceed 100 attendees within the church build-ing. The Church will always stand with the bereaved and do its best to ensure a Christian burial for those who re-quest it.
Reviewing this information
We ask everyone to continue to follow the guidance of the public health authorities north and south. As the situation evolves, Church-specific information will be updated and published on local diocesan website, on the website of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference www.catholicbishops.ie and on their related digital media platforms. The Provisions of the ‘Pastoral Statement’ will have effect from Wednesday 18 March 2020.
In view of the above, it has been decided to postpone the Parish Mission.
The motivation for these new restrictive measures is a sense of care for the common good and especially for those most vulnerable. Each Christian community should be acutely aware of the responsibility to care for those who are most at risk. For example, even where it may not be appropriate to visit the elderly, a simple telephone call to enquire about their needs could mean so much to them.