All Masses at Holy Family Church have been suspended until further notice.
Please see more details from Fr Eugene:
In response to the request of the health authorities. I am introducing the following special pastoral measures, effective from the evening of Friday 20th March 2020. The obligation for the faithful to attend Mass on a Sunday or Holy day of Obligation is removed until further notice.
1) All churches and chapels, as well as all other places where regular Sunday and weekday public Masses are celebrated, are to suspend all public Masses. Fr Eugene: I will be celebrating Masses at the normal scheduled times, but the doors will be locked.
2) Wherever possible, during the period, churches will remain open, especially on Sundays, for individual private prayers, without any organised services, and offering prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The Church will be open from 10.15am ~ 12pm Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday for private prayer.
3) The faithful may choose one of the following alternatives to attending Sunday Mass:
• Taking part may include watching a Sunday Mass online, or on television, and so receive Holy Communion spiritually; OR
• Reflecting on the Sunday Liturgical text, reading the Bible or saying the Rosary Fr Eugene: I hope to be able to offer Daily Mass / Stations of the Cross via the Parish Website. Details will be published on the Website.
4) Priests (parish priest and assistant priests) who hold parochial office may say a daily private Mass in a church within their parish, on the understanding that the public will not be invited to be in attendance. Other priests (retired from office or entrusted with a non-parochial ministry) may celebrate Mass without the faithful in a church, chapel or their private home. Deacons should not participate in these celebrations. The continuing celebration of Mass ensures that the faithful can join in spiritual communion with the priests of the church.
5) Baptisms should be deferred until such time when the public health advice is that congregations can gather safely. In case of necessity, ( in an emergency or in danger of death) baptisms should be celebrated with all the hygiene precautions that have been laid down by the Church in its COVID-19 advice.
6) The Sacrament of Penance may be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed, for example a physical barrier between the penitent and the priest such as a grille and cloth. Fr Eugene: I will be in the Church on Saturdays from 10.30 ~ 11am.
7) First Confession and First Holy Communion celebrations should be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely within our churches.
8) The celebrations of Confirmation should be deferred until such time that the public health advice is that congregations can resume public worship.
9) Where possible, the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony should be deferred until such time that people can gather in numbers safely. However, if this is not possible and only in the most pressing of circumstances, attendance for the marriage should be restricted to the celebrant, bride and groom and immediate family, and if necessary, the legal Registrar.
10) No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating, though phone support can be offered. When anointing the sick, the Oil of the Sick can be applied using a cotton bud which can be burned afterwards (one for the head and the other for the hands). The priest should extend his hands over the sick person for laying on of hands, without physical contact, which is a valid mode of celebrating the sacraments which involve "laying on of hands". Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should follow the infection control advice of staff from the respective institutions.
11) Funeral services should take place at either the graveside or 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 safely.
The Church, being a responsible member of society, has the duty to maintain public hygiene and promote the common good. Therefore, parish clergy, religious and the lay faithful are to strictly comply with the above pastoral measures.
Given at St Ambrose on 191h March 2020
signed by Bishop Declan & Fr George Henwood (Chancellor of the Diocese)
AS you can see we have to adhere to strict regulations.