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Bishops around the country have cancelled Mass for the coming three Sundays

Weddings, funerals and baptisms with fewer than 100 people will still go ahead.

Image: Shutterstock/wideonet

BISHOPS AROUND IRELAND are cancelling Mass for the next three weekends to comply with restrictions announced by the Government to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

This afternoon, it was confirmed from the dioceses of Galway, Meath, Limerick, Tipperary, Donegal and Armagh that masses are off until the March 29. 

It is expected that the rest of the nation’s dioceses will follow suit. 

Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, who is head of the Cashel and Emly diocese said: “The public celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly is suspended until and including Sunday 29 March, with immediate effect.

It is necessary to cancel both weekend and daily Masses as it is not possible to comply with the public health authority’s requirement to have less than 100 people gathering indoors in both town and country churches across the Archdiocese. 

“While the cancellation of all Masses is regrettable, it communicates to our parish communities the serious impact of Covid-19.”

While much smaller gatherings may still happen in churches across the country, archbishops have ordered the following advice to be adhered to:

  • Holy water fonts should remain empty 
  • 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.
  • Collection baskets: priests are asked to provide an alternative to the practice of passing collection baskets through the congregation. 
  • Mass-goers are asked to continue their generous contributions to the upkeep of their parish. 

The spread of the virus has also forced archbishops to postpone confirmations. However, weddings, baptisms and funerals will be allowed go ahead so long as there are no more than 100 people in the church. 

Churches will remain open for people if they wish to pray, the statement from the archbishops added.  

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