As you all know, much has been reported by new outlets concerning the Coronavirus [COVID-19]. There still has been no reported incident of the virus in Louisiana. However, given the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control, and in keeping with directives by our own Bishop Duca, we will begin to enact the following practices immediately until the Coronavirus threat has passed:
If you are sick, do not come to Mass. One does not sin if one is ill and is absent from the Eucharist. You can come back to the celebration of the Eucharist after you recover.
Communion from the Chalice at daily and weekend Eucharistic liturgies will be withheld except for the Priest and Deacon.
As a communicant, you are requested to temporarily receive Holy Communion in the hand and not on the tongue.
The liturgical assembly is to refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer; the Sign of Peace with a simple bow or a wave since other parishioners may be uncomfortable with physical contact during some parts of the Mass.
If you are a liturgical minister who is ill, you also are requested not to come to Mass until you have recovered.
Remember to follow precautions which are the same commonsense hygiene precautions recommended to prevent the flu, including:
Avoid close contact with sick persons.
Cover mouth/nose with tissue/sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing/sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth after touching objects.
Practice good health habits (clean home, adequate sleep, healthy stress management).
These are being asked of us all for the good order of our worship during this special time. Coming to Mass is never risk free as we are humans and live in a world that can be precarious. However, we can join together in prayer for the many in the world who are suffering from all manner of diseases, for those who care for them and for the welfare and healing of all the sick. We can pray for the safety of our family, our friends and parishioners. I will keep you informed when these guides can be changed. Thank you for your cooperation and prayerful support.