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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

April 1, 2020

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Archdiocesan Guidelines for the Celebration of the Liturgies of Holy Week according to norms issued by the Vatican and the USCCB 

Included below and posted to our dedicated archchicago.org/coronavirus page are the Archdiocesan Guidelines for the Celebration of the Liturgies of Holy Week according to norms issued by the Vatican and the USCCB. Please review these guidelines in detail. 

All LIVE-STREAMED PARISH liturgies are to be celebrated according to Archdiocesan and Governmental directives.

If you live-stream these liturgies, be consistent with the prescribed times. For example, do not begin live-streaming the Saturday Vigil for Palm Sunday before 4 p.m. and do not begin live-streaming the Easter Vigil before 8 p.m.

  • Please limit the number of people as much as possible – NOT exceeding the current 10-person limit. This is inclusive of:
    • Celebrant and concelebrants
    • one deacon OR one reader (for the Vigil see the note on reader(s) below)
    • one cantor and one musician
    • videographer if the parish is livestreaming
  • All ministers including concelebrants are to practice social distancing, i.e., staying six feet apart.
  • The celebrant should be the only person to handle the gifts (the paten and the chalice). If there is a deacon, he can prepare the chalice without picking it up. This models for our people precautions in social interaction.
  • Do not share the chalice among ministers (if there are concelebrants or a deacon consecrate enough individual chalices)
  • Please visually sanitize your hands before and after distributing Holy Communion.

All PRIVATE MASSES (i.e., Masses that are not live-streamed and celebrated with a main celebrant and concelebrants and NO OTHER MINISTERS) are to be celebrated according to Archdiocesan and Governmental directives:

  • All ministers including concelebrants are to practice social distancing, i.e., staying six feet apart.
  • The celebrant should be the only person to handle the gifts (the paten and the chalice). If there is a concelebrant, he can prepare the chalice without picking it up.
  • Do not share the chalice among ministers (if there are concelebrants consecrate enough individual chalices)
  • Sanitize your hands before and after distributing Holy Communion.

Palm Sunday

  • The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated according to the third form as given in the Roman Missal.
  • There is NOT to be any distribution of blessed palms; however, if a priest blesses palms privately, those palms may be reserved for distribution at a later date to be determined by the USCCB and/or Archdiocese of Chicago.

Holy Thursday

  • The washing of feet is to be omitted.
  • At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the Blessed Sacrament is returned to the tabernacle in the usual way, before the Prayer after Communion.
  • The Procession to an altar of repose is omitted.
  • On this day the faculty to celebrate Mass in a suitable place, without the presence of the people, is exceptionally granted to all priests.
  • For any priest who cannot celebrate the Mass, he should pray Vespers of the day.

Good Friday

  • In the Universal Prayer, all Bishops have been asked to have a special intention prepared for those who find themselves in distress, the sick, the dead, (cf. Missale Romanum). The USCCB has prepared a prayer to use:

XI. For an end to the pandemic

Let us pray, dearly beloved, for a swift end
to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts our world,
that our God and Father will heal the sick,
strengthen those who care for them,
and help us all to persevere in faith.

Prayer in silence. Then the priest says:

Almighty and merciful God,
source of all life, health and healing,
look with compassion on our world, brought low by disease;
protect us in the midst of the grave challenges that assail us
and in your fatherly providence
grant recovery to the stricken,
strength to those who care for them,
and success to those working to eradicate this scourge.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen

  • The adoration of the Cross by kissing it shall be limited solely to the celebrant.

The Easter Vigil

  • The Service of Light is to be omitted.
    • The Paschal Candle is to be prepared beforehand.
    • The Paschal Candle is lit, the procession is omitted and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) follows.
      • To achieve this, the Paschal Candle can be lit in the sacristy and the ministers enter the sanctuary, with the lit candle, from the sacristy.
  • The Liturgy of the Word takes place.
  • NB: Because of the number of readings which can be used, a second reader may take part, in order to alternate voices during the liturgy of the word.
  • While Holy Water fonts are still to remain empty, since the renewal of Baptismal Promises includes a sprinkling the following will be observed:
    • The usual small receptacle for water, used with the aspergillum, is blessed according to Roman Missal no. 54ff
    • This leads to the Renewal of Baptismal Promises (RM no. 55)
    • The celebrant sprinkles the other minsters and the receptacle is set aside.
  • For the “Baptismal Liturgy” the Renewal of Baptismal Promises is all that is necessary.
  • The Liturgy of the Eucharist follows.

Those who have no possibility of participating in the Easter Vigil should pray the Office of Readings for Easter Sunday.

Again, these and all current guidelines can be found on our dedicated archchicago.org/coronavirus page.

I pray that as we prepare to enter into Holy Week under these most unusual circumstances, you do so in good health, filled with hope, trusting in our Lord’s providence.

Peace,

Bishop Ron Hicks
 

RESOURCES

Archdiocese of Chicago

  • Safe Environment Principles (Link)

  • Anointing of the Sick: Updated Guidelines March 30, 2020 (Link) (Polski)

  • The Archdiocese of Chicago Distributed the Following Guidelines and Policies to Clergy and Parish Staff, March 23, 2020 (Link)

  • The Archdiocese of Chicago Distributed the Following Guidelines and Policies to Clergy and Parish Staff (Chrism Mass, Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies). March 19, 2020 (Link)

  • Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies, March 19, 2020 (Link)

  • The Archdiocese of Chicago Distributed the Following Guidelines and Policies on Funerals, Wakes and Viewings, ad Committals to Clergy and Parish Staff, March 18, 2020 (Link)

USCCB

  • Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Encourages Lawmakers in Providing Aid and Relief to Those Affected by Coronavirus, March 12, 2020 (Link)

News from Chicago Catholic and Catolico

TELEVISED MASS (Link)

Mass from Holy Name Cathedral

Masses will be available starting at 4 p.m.

Weekday Mass from St. James Chapel

Masses will be available starting Tuesday, March 17

Please check with your parish or agency websites for information on other televised Masses.

LIST OF RESOURCES FOR THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/

Get the latest updates on the outbreak from the CDC
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Illinois Department of Public Health
http://dph.illinois.gov/

Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)
Sign up to receive the latest updates on the local COVID-19 response from the CDPH
https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/VwvbSW5/coronavirus

CDPH Coronavirus Hotline: 312.746.4835

PRINT RESOURCES

Get the Facts: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What you need to know about COVID-19 (English | Spanish)

What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 (English | Spanish)

Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (English | Spanish)

Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Poster (English | Spanish)