13 Mar 2020

Guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus

The Southern Cross  |  March 13 2020

Guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A number of questions have arisen concerning Holy Week, visiting the sick and collections.

I offer these guidelines:  

I am sure that commonsense and prudence of the priests and deacons will ensure that everything is done to contain the possible spread of the coronavirus. We have taken advice on these items from infectious disease control specialists.

Concerning Holy Week, I offer these guidelines:

  • Mass of Chrism and Holy Thursday - concelebrating priests should receive the Precious Blood through intinction only. At the Cathedral this will be the presumed practice. It should also apply to any concelebration. If sharing the cup, the host should be immersed without any part of the hand touching the contents of the cup. The chalices should remain on the altar, so it is not necessary for concelebrants to touch the metal of the chalice.
  • Washing of the Feet – it should still be possible to conduct this in the ordinary manner, presuming that individual towels are used. The water should be poured over the foot and the foot should not be immersed in the bowl, and it would be advisable to refrain from kissing the foot. There should be separate bowls for clean water and used water.
  • Veneration of the Cross – this should be restricted to a bow.

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