Youngstown Catholic Diocese Takes Steps With Coronavirus Concerns

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is trying to be proactive when it comes to attending Mass with the coronavirus outbreak.

Besides the usual advice about covering your mouth when coughing and staying home when sick, Bishop George Murry is discouraging the hand shake during the Sign of Peace and distribution of the Eucharist will no longer include the cup.

These are temporary measures through early April.

Here’s the news release from the diocese:

Both the flu and the Coronavirus are serious health hazards. The Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has issued a number of prudent steps that are to be taken to protect the faithful at Mass and at other liturgical events.

Effective March 7-8, the Second Sunday of Lent:

If you are sick, do not come to Mass. Watch it on TV.

Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze at Mass or anywhere.

Use hand sanitizer if you cough or sneeze at Mass or anywhere.

Acknowledge others at the Sign of Peace without shaking hands.

All ministers of Holy Communion, priests and deacons and laypeople, MUST use hand sanitizer before distributing Holy Communion.

The distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion is suspended. The one exception is for people who must receive from the cup due to severe cases of celiac disease.

If you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, please be careful not to touch the minister’s fingers with your tongue or mouth.

Intinction is not to be utilized as a means of distributing Holy Communion.

Holy Water fonts are to be drained or regularly cleaned and disinfected. Parishes should make available small, personal bottles of Holy Water for parishioners who want them.

These are temporary measures that will be reviewed before Holy Week (The Weekend of April 4-5). Please take all common sense steps as well as those outlined to assure at all times the health, safety and well-being of others.