Effective Saturday 21 March 2020 until further notice
Public Health Advice
We strongly advise and encourage all clergy, diocesan employees and all the faithful to adhere strictly to the public health guidelines issued by government.
The latest government advice can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
The Public Celebration of Mass
The public celebration of Mass remains suspended.
Baptisms may continue to be celebrated, by appointment. Only one child should be baptised on any one occasion. Only the child’s parents and two godparents may attend.
If possible, weddings should be postponed to a time when public gatherings can safely resume. Marriage ceremonies must be restricted to the presence of the celebrant, the couple and the two witnesses. The Nuptial Mass is not to be celebrated and the Rite of Marriage without the celebration of Mass will be used.
Funerals are to be private and restricted to the immediate family of the deceased only.
In the interests of public health and to encourage social distancing, when publishing death notices, families and funeral directors are asked to refrain from including details of the funeral service.
Opening of Churches
Churches will continue to remain open for private personal prayer only, all other public devotional practices, likely to attract a gathering of people are suspended.
Parish Centres/Parochial Halls
Parish Centres and Parochial halls are now to be closed to members of the public. Access will be maintained for tenants who are providing essential services (e.g. childcare facilities who have been requested to maintain service for essential workers and other social support.)
Meetings, seminars, courses and retreats
All meetings, courses, seminars and other pastoral gatherings are cancelled.
These directives will be kept under regular review
Diocese of Down and Connor: Issued 20 March 2020