The emphasis has been on the suspension of Masses during the COVID-19 emergency, but there are many other activities which take place in parishes. The following restrictions apply to parish activities, along with any other restrictions introduced by the government:
Visits to the sick and housebound
Please see “Priests and the Sick” for latest information) in Cardinal’s Reflections section.
Your pastoral team will make arrangements to ensure that those who are sick or housebound receive spiritual care. They will also keep in contact with those who are in self-isolation, and you should advise them if you are in this situation. Communion to the sick who are not in danger of death is suspended.
For the critically ill at home the normal process for contacting a priest in your area should be followed. Most hospitals are in lockdown so access by a priest may be difficult but this situation will be managed by the Hospital chaplaincy team and the hospital.
All churches and church buildings are now closed.
No funerals are being celebrated. Funeral directors have advised that famikies have the choice of immediate cremation or burial, or putting bodies in their mortuary facilities. Families should contact a priest for support using the normal contact details in parishes.
Marriages and marriage preparation courses are suspended.
All parish gatherings are suspended. This includes meetings; sacramental programmes; the conferring of First Holy Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmation; Lent programmes; RCIA programmes; and the Second Rite of Reconciliation. Contact the parish about Reconciliation.
Parish offices are closed but may be accessible through phone and email systems. There will be a way to contact a priest.