DETROIT – The Archdiocese of Detroit announced some changes in light of coronavirus, but they aren’t canceling daily or weekend mass just yet.
The Archdiocese released the following pertaining to COVID-19:
- Daily and weekend Masses will continue as scheduled until further notice.
- Any other parish or diocesan school events that are anticipated to be near or more than 100 people should be canceled until further notice.
- Additional guidelines for liturgical celebrations will be provided to pastors and parishes in anticipation of this weekend’s Masses. Current recommendations are available below.
- The Department of Catholic Schools is directing diocesan schools to close on Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16 for deep cleaning and to allow administration and faculty to discern and prepare for possible options going forward.
Changes during Mass:
- During Mass, the practice of shaking hands during the Sign of Peace or elsewhere is to be suspended.
- “We realize this practice will be a culture change, but we are asked to care for the least in our society, we are asking this as a special concern for the care of those who are most vulnerable to this virus.”
- The sign of peace can continue verbally without physical interaction.
- The minister may consider saying “Let us offer each other a verbal sign of peace.”
- The faithful should not hold hands during the Our Father.
- Please empty (and leave empty) all holy water fonts.
- Ministers (Ordinary and Extraordinary) of Holy Communion should wash their hands before Mass begins and ideally before Communion. If hand washing is not possible, then use an alcohol-based antibacterial solution before and after distributing holy Communion. (If needed, the use of hand sanitizers, even during Mass, is acceptable for all ministers of holy Communion, including the priest and deacon.)
- The Precious Blood should not be offered to the Faithful. If this is a regular practice at your parish, please remind the faithful that the Consecrated Host is the full Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, meaning an individual does not need to receive from the Cup in order to achieve full Communion with Christ.
- Update emergency plans and ensure all contact lists are up to date. If you do not already have a Pandemic Plan, we encourage you to develop one. To initiate or build upon an all-hazards plan, visit the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools website.
- Monitor daily attendance for flu-like illnesses and absences. Report to your local Health Department whenever you experience 10 percent or greater school absenteeism, including staff.
- All sick employees and students should stay home. Plan ahead for extended school closures, staffing shortages, and the possibility of offering online school options.
- Wipe down desks and surfaces daily.