Parishioners are asked to note that there are significant changes in place that will affect Masses and the daily working of the church. These are detailed below.
Diocesan Guidelines for Masses are at the bottom of this page.
The Parish Office is now open again Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm. As a parish community we are following the most up to date public health regulations, which includes social distancing, hygiene/sanitation measures and the use of PPE. Please be advised these measures will be in use within the Parish Office. If people are unwell – especially those with any symptoms that might suggest COVID-19 infection we recommend that they should stay at home and contact Claire by phone on 028 9042 2167 or email using: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Fr Stephen will hear confessions by appointment. Confessions will be in the open in the alcove area adjacent to the icon of Our Lady.
The church will be open for private, individual, prayer from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.
Bishop Treanor has announced the resumption of funeral services while still observing social distancing protocols. The number of mourners will be limited to the number that can be safely accommodated within the church, in line with current health and safety and social distancing guidelines. Up to 30 people may attend the graveside.
Outdoor weddings are permitted and a maximum number of 30 people may attend an outdoor wedding.
Indoor weddings are only permitted when one of the parties is terminally ill. The number of people attending in such circumstances has been increased to 30 people.
We are still awaiting clarification/change to the regulation relating to Baptism, which excluded Baptism from the more general resumption of public liturgy. As soon as we receive any information about this we will update you.
Saturday vigil 6.30pm
Sunday 10 am and 12 Noon
Our prayer is for the healing for our sick and we pray that the virus, that so many have fallen
victim to will come to a speedy end.
May God bless us all.
DOWN AND CONNOR DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR MASSES
THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF MASS AND THE SACRAMENTS
The current circumstances do not permit for any return to ‘normal practice’ at this time and you are encouraged to remind parishioners that parishes have an obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all people.
The advice, guidance and measures put in place are to mitigate against the transmission of the virus which is still present in the community and will continue to be so for some time to come. This justifies and necessitates the significant restrictions to the liturgical life of our community.
- While Churches are open for public celebrations, you are reminded that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days remains suspended. Parishioners who can, should be encouraged to attend on other days, and at this time, be discouraged from attending Mass more than once a week to allow for others to attend. There should be no increase in the number of scheduled Masses, particularly on a Sunday.
- In common with other northern Dioceses, a social distancing measure of 2 metres should be observed for the time being. The capacity of the Church should be calculated on this basis and noted as required in the Risk Assessment.
- Members of the same household are permitted to sit together without the need to observe 2 metre distancing.
- Where toilet facilities are provided, these must be regularly cleaned and appropriately restocked with handwash, disposable towels etc. Signage should be put in place recommending that 5 minutes be left between use.
- Doors and windows should be left open and mechanical ventilation systems (where available) operated, before, during and after celebrations to improve ventilation.
- Reusable pew missals/misalettes, hymnbooks and leaflets should not be used. Single use missalettes and newsletters should be taken home by the user, or safely collected and disposed after each Mass.
- In order to keep the length of celebrations to a minimum, liturgies should be simple. Homilies and prayer of the faithful should be kept brief.
- Concelebration is strongly discouraged. If necessary, for pastoral reasons, concelebrants should receive under both species using individual chalices and patens.
- Holy Communion is not to be administered under both species; the Sacred Host is to be received on the hand only. Liturgical norms require that the communicant should not self-communicate.
- As it is not possible to keep 2 metres distance at Communion time, face coverings must be worn by priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers while distributing Holy Communion.
- Access to the sacristy should be strictly limited to clergy, sacristan (and where appropriate, servers). Where it is not possible to observe 2 metre distancing in sacristies, mitigations such as face coverings must be used.
- Only one Child should be Baptised at any one ceremony.
- Devotional practices such as communal recitation of the Divine Office, Rosary, Divine Mercy devotion should be scheduled during the published opening times of the Church and not immediately after liturgical celebrations.
- The social distancing and other hygiene guidance should be applied to all liturgical/prayer gatherings.
- Further guidance regarding ‘First Friday’ visits, routine pastoral visits and weekly visits by extraordinary ministers will be issued in due course. Until then, house visits should be restricted to cases of urgency only.
You are reminded of the obligation to observe Public Health Regulations and follow carefully all advice issued by Public Health Officials.