Catholic Church issues updates to Mass changes in response to virus
BATON ROUGE- Archbishop Gregory Aymond updated the guidelines for parishes in regards to liturgical celebrations in light of the presumptive case of coronavirus on Tuesday.
"Since there is a presumptive case of COVID- l9 (Coronavirus) in the New Orleans area, we must act out of an abundance of caution. Therefore, effective immediately the chalice containing the Blood of Christ is not to be offered to the congregation. Furthermore, I suggest that the sign of peace should be offered by making a simple bow to the other person and say, "peace be with you".
This statement is an update to the Feb. 28 memo in which the archbishop informed pastors how to address virus concerns. That memo also reminded the faithful who are sick to remain home and encouraged good hygiene amongst liturgical ministers.
Catholic school faculty and staff members that are under voluntary self-quarantines after traveling abroad over the Mardi Gras holidays have not reported symptoms of illness. Those self-quarantines are effective until March 13.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans states that church and school leaders are continuing to monitor the situation and are in contact with local health professionals for guidance and prevention of infectious diseases.
Last week, the Diocese of Baton Rouge recommendations on receiving Holy Communion and exchanging the Sign of Peace during Mass.
"While we gather in large numbers, especially during the season of Lent, we want to make sure that our people are safe," Bishop Michael Duca said.