The following are recommendation from the HSE:
General recommendations for all:
- People including clergy who are ill and may have COVID-19 should not attend religious services.
- We suggest that physical interaction during religious services, including the Sign of Peace, should be suspended.
- Because COVID-19 is a new disease and appears to spread easily between people, we advise that church holy water fonts should not be used.
- Using communal vessels for food and drink during religious services, e.g. drinking from the Chalice during Holy Communion in Christian services: To minimise the risk of spread of infection, the use of communal vessels should be suspended.
- For example, during Holy Communion in Christian religious services only the celebrant should drink from the Chalice.
- No one else should drink from the Chalice–this includes other priests, ministers of the Eucharist and members of the congregation.
- Alternatives to direct sharing of the Chalice should also be AVOIDED including 1) Intinction and 2)Distribution of Communion wine through individual small cups
- Holy Communion should be administered into the hands only and NOT onto the tongue
- Everyone administering Holy Communion should use alcohol based hand gel before beginning.
- Alcohol based hand gel should be available and used. Eucharistic ministers should use hand gel rather than hand washing.
All bathroom facilities and wash-hand basins should be maintained to a high standard of cleanliness.
We pray for the victims of the CoronaVirus and for the control and contain of the virus.