Information taken from the Roman Catholic DIOCESE OF CHARLOTTE Coronavirus Guidelines. A 30-day guide from March 13th, through Holy Thursday, 2020. March 17th, 2020; 10:30 AM
Sunday Mass and Holy Communion
The obligation of the faithful to attend Sunday Mass is waived until further notice.
- The faithful are to follow the guidance of public health professionals and should refrain from attending Mass or any public space if they have been at risk of exposure or experiencing symptoms of sickness. We ask that the faithful exercise caution with due regard for themselves and their neighbor’s health and well-being.
- Priests are only to offer public Masses consistent with CDC guidelines, which is currently set for less than 10 people.
- In parishes where all public Masses are cancelled, priests are to offer daily Mass for their spiritual benefit and that of their parishioners.
- The norms of Mass intentions and their offerings are to be observed.
- During Mass celebrants should not extend the Sign of Peace, distribute Holy Communion from the chalice, or otherwise invite people to extend a greeting at Mass or other liturgical gatherings.
- All those who distribute Holy Communion should wash their hands beforehand. As a further precaution they ought to clean their hands again by using an alcohol-based antibacterial solution before distributing Holy Communion. After distributing Holy Communion, they should purify their fingers using an ablution cup, and then proceed to use soap and/or alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution again.
- Clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who are vulnerable or symptomatic should refrain from distributing the Sacred Host at Mass and otherwise. Vulnerable and symptomatic priests are legitimately excused from the obligation of distributing Holy Communion and may defer to other sacred and extraordinary ministers.
- Regarding the manner of reception of Holy Communion, as the moderator of the liturgy for the whole diocese, the Bishop takes seriously his responsibility to protect the rights and obligations of the clergy and the laity alike. The manner of receiving Holy Communion is the prerogative of the communicant. Therefore, the options for the faithful during the Rite of Holy Communion are:
- Receive in the hand
- Receive on the tongue
- Elect to make a spiritual communion
It is the responsibility of the faithful to prudently decide in accord with reason and piety which option is best. When distributing Holy Communion, contact with the communicant should be avoided in a reverent manner.
- Consideration should be given to passing the collection basket in a way that minimizes direct contact by parishioners.
- Sunday and Weekday liturgical schedules are at the discretion of the local pastor/administrator provided they respect CDC guidelines.
- The provisions made for Mass should be employed for the celebration of other sacraments and sacramentals including baptisms, penance, weddings, funerals, and Anointing of the Sick.
- For couples with weddings scheduled in the near future, contact them to discuss postponing options. The CDC offers guidelines for such considerations.
Every effort should be made to provide Viaticum and Anointing of the Sick to those in extreme illness.
Education: Schools and Faith Formation
All classroom instruction is canceled until such time that Governor Cooper allows schools to resume on-campus instruction. School buildings may remain open for faculty and staff.
- During the suspension of on-campus classes, students should continue classes at home if their condition and learning situation allows:
- High school students would continue their classes through on-line learning and, therefore, would not be impeded from meeting the NC requirements for course completion and/or graduation.
- For K-8 students who do not have access to online learning, all efforts should be made to allow them to work remotely, possibly using paper packets. If this could not be accomplished, these students would be afforded the status of Excused Absences and, therefore, would not be subject to any punitive actions.
- When the suspension of on-campus classes is lifted, students who have a presumptive positive test result for the Coronavirus and those who exhibit symptoms may not return to school or class until/unless they provide assurance from a healthcare professional stating they clear to return to the classroom.
- All extra-curricular activities are cancelled or postponed, i.e., field trips, sporting events, etc.
Parish Events and Activities
- Non-essential activities involving more than the CDC recommends are cancelled or postponed.
A message from the local Pastor:
The well-being of all our dedicated staff during this difficult time is a top priority as a responsible employer and, most importantly, as faithful followers of the Gospel. In addition to our goal to help keep people safe and healthy, we are also committed to minimizing the financial impact on them. As such, measures are being taken to pay staff and continue providing benefits to those who are unable to work during this difficult time. We must also continue to meet all our other financial obligations. Similarly, I ask that you continue your financial support of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish if you are not adversely impacted by this crisis. I encourage you to mail your weekly offertory gift to the parish office at 619 South Main Street, Lexington NC 27292. Be assured of my daily prayers for your well-being and that of the entire globe.
Rev. Ambrose A. Akinwande, MSP
Visit the following page for Masses held online, latest information from the Diocese of Charlotte, suggested prayers and public health resources: