03/11/2020 07:19pm

The Diocese of Grand Rapids is continuing to monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Given that many of our parishioners are considered high risk for contracting the virus, it is prudent for us to update the directives. Bishop Walkowiak has determined that the following guidelines should be implemented for all Masses, effective immediately, until further notice.
• The distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ is to be temporarily suspended at all Masses.
o The communicant decides how they would like to receive the Body of Christ.
o We will continue to have available, Hand sanitizer near the sanctuary so that all Ordinary and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion can sanitize their hands before and after distributing the Eucharist.
• The Sign of Peace is to be exchanged without physical contact for the time being. We invite you to use some other gesture (a nod of the head, a smile or a spoken greeting).
• Parishioners should not hold hands during the Our Father. Although holding hands is a beautiful expression of people united in prayer, the gesture is not envisioned in any Church documents governing liturgy.
• If your parish encourages a greeting with physical contact before Mass, that practice should be temporarily suspended or modified to not include physical contact.
• Holy Water fonts have temporarily been emptied. They should remain empty during this period.
• For the celebration of Confirmation, the Bishop will not be shaking hands with the newly confirmed following the anointing with Chrism.
In addition, please strongly consider the following:
• If you or a family member are exhibiting flu-like or cold symptoms, their Sunday obligation is waived. Please stay home if you are sick.
• Parishioners and parishes should continue following our normal cold/flu season guidelines.
• As people of faith, we want to place those who are suffering and those who have died from the virus into the hands of the Lord.