Apostolic Administrator of the Adelaide Archdiocese and Bishop of Port Pirie, Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ said after extensive consultation with medical experts and in order to be well prepared, new guidelines would take effect from Sunday March 8.
Under the temporary arrangements, Communion hosts will be distributed as usual in the palm of the hand but receiving Communion in the chalice will cease temporarily, as will distribution of the host on the tongue.
Ministers of Holy Communion will be reminded to clean their hands with sanitiser before and after distributing Communion.
Worshippers will be asked to avoid physical contact for the sign of peace and holy water stoops will be emptied temporarily.
If anyone has been in contact with a coronavirus affected place or person within the past 14 days and is experiencing cold or flu like symptoms, they should remain away from Mass until the symptoms have passed or cleared by a doctor. Their Sunday Mass obligation will be met by a time of prayer at home.
Administrator Delegate Father Philip Marshall added that he hoped the temporary measures would offer comfort to those who are experiencing any anxiety at this time, and assist in supporting the general welfare of our Catholic and wider community.
“Good hygiene is of the utmost importance in our parishes and communities at all times, and we take very seriously our responsibility to respond appropriately and to reduce the risk to vulnerable people,” he said.
Further information was provided to clergy and parishes on March 13 in relation to Holy Week, aged care homes and collections. The circulars from Bishop O’Kelly can be found at www.adelaide.catholic.org.au
Catholic Education SA has also provided advice to schools in line with Department of Education guidelines.
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