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Diocese of Youngstown takes steps to protect against coronavirus, flu

The measures are temporary and will be reviewed before Holy Week.
Diocese of Youngstown 12172019
(Photo by William D. Lewis)

YOUNGSTOWN — Over concerns about the flu and coronavirus, the Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has issued steps that are to be taken to protect the faithful at Mass and at other liturgical events.

Effective Saturday (March 7):

  • If you are sick, do not come to Mass. Watch it on television.
  • 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 wine 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, be careful not to touch the minister’s fingers with your tongue or mouth.
  • Dipping bread into wine 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), according to a news release.

For information, contact the Rev. Michael D. Balash at the office of worship at 330- 744-8451, ext. 282.