March 5, 2020
The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the senior public health official for BC, has issued some recommendations in reference to preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In line with those recommendations, I ask that you put the following measures in place.
- At the Sign of Peace, a bow instead of the usual greeting;
- Remove Holy Water from fonts which are used by our parishioners to bless themselves;
- Forego Holy Communion from the chalice for the congregation;
- Also, people should be reminded that, as always, if they are sick they should not be coming to Holy Mass or other events. In addition, people returning from affected areas in the world should follow health ministry guidelines on being isolated from the public.
Given that there is no guarantee that a communicant’s hands are germ-free, people remain free to receive Holy Communion either on the tongue or in the hand.
Apart from the above, the following statement from the Ministry of Health should be followed: “The most important measures people in B.C. can take to prevent respiratory illnesses including COVID-19, are cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you are sick.”
We will be updating our COVID-19 virus page with the latest information, which can be found here: https://rcav.org/coronavirus/.
Thank you for your attention to these details and our concern for everyone’s health.
With cordial best wishes and the assurance of my prayers, I remain
+J. Michael Miller, CSB
Archbishop of Vancouver