CORONA VIRUS (COV ID-19)
Many people have expressed understandable about the potential effects of the spread concern of Covid-19, also known generally as the Coronavirus.
- Although the impact of the virus in Scotland so far is low, it is advisable to implement precautionary measures in our communities in order to inhibit the spread of the virus.
- Crucially, these measures begin with good basic practice in personal hygiene, as has been outlined in public information notices.
- It also seems prudent to put specific temporary steps in place for our Churches and liturgical celebrations throughout the Archdiocese of Glasgow:
- Holy water stoups are to be emptied.
- The Sign of Peace is to be exchanged by means of a slight bow of the head while saying Peace be with you.
- Reception of the Precious Blood from the Chalice by the Faithful is suspended in the meantime.
- Holy Communion will be received in the hand, avoiding physical contact.
- Holy Communion may be received on the tongue as long as the Communicant presents in such a way that the Sacred Host can be placed on the tongue without contact.
- On all occasions where Holy Communion is distributed (Mass, Holy Communion outside Mass, Visits to the Sick, etc.), Priests and Extraordinary Ministers should wash their hands or use a suitable sanitising gel before the distribution of Holy Communion.
- Only the Priest or Deacon is to purify the sacred vessels.
- Those responsible for preparing for Mass are to ensure that they thoroughly wash their hands before handling the sacred vessels or altar breads. To minimise contact the vessels containing the bread and wine should be placed directly in the Sanctuary before Mass and not left unattended elsewhere in the Church.
It is prudent to avoid or limit instances of physical contact when greeting one another before and after Mass.
Baptism, Confirmation and the Anointing of the Sick are also conferred through physical touch. However, it seems excessive to suspend these in the current situation.
An intention is to be included in the Prayers of the Faithful for those suffering from the virus and for the speedy conclusion of the present crisis.
These measures are temporary and will be reviewed in line with the evolving medical situation.
Yours devotedly in Christ
Philip Tartaglia Archbishop
The Archdiocese of Glasgow is a Designated Religious Body, Charity Number SC018140