Dear Saint Bridget Lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Sacristans;
In light of the growing concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and out of an abundance of caution, Bishop Knestout is instructing all parishes, schools, residential adult care centers and campus ministries to take the following measures in their communities for the foreseeable future:
- Cease distribution of the Precious Blood (Christ is fully present under both species of the Blessed Sacrament)
- Refrain from shaking hands during the Sign of Peace (bow or verbal gesture is appropriate)
- Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer
- Remove Holy Water from the Baptismal and Holy Water fonts
A new web page has been implemented at richmonddiocese.org/coronavirus which provides additional safety precautions. This web page will be updated regularly with important information about our diocesan response. Additional resources can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health websites.
As always, prayer is an important way Catholics can respond to any crisis as we express our dependence on God. We continue to stand in solidarity with all those affected by the disease as well as those health care professionals who care for them. We ask parishioners to keep these people in mind while we pray especially as we continue our Lenten journey.
In light of these measures we will not require Lay Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the Precious Blood. Rather than remove any positions from the schedule I ask that you follow the normal routine and check with the Sacristans prior to Mass to see if there is a position open.
I am grateful for your ministry and have you all in my prayers.
Sincerely in Christ,