Due to growing concerns and medical advice related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in social settings, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has announced that all regularly scheduled public Masses in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany — except weddings and funerals — will be canceled until further notice. Churches will, however, remain open for private prayer, pending further regulations.
In addition, all Confirmations have been canceled until further notice and will be rescheduled. Funerals and weddings may be attended only by close family and in accordance with social distancing and capacity requirements. Further restrictions may force a change in those guidelines as we go forward.
“Although we know how difficult it is for Catholics to be without the Mass and without the Eucharist, we must do our part to help ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Bishop Scharfenberger said when making the announcement. “I encourage the faithful to pray and fast as we continue our journey through this season of Lent. Try to include at least 15 minutes of daily intentional prayer, with family where possible and safe. Use the Bible, say the Rosary, watch Mass on TV, and please remember to pray for those who are suffering from the Coronavirus worldwide and for all those in the medical community who are on the front lines.”
The Diocese of Albany is keeping Catholics apprised of changes, updates and resources on its dedicated web page: rcda.org/coronavirus. In addition, a Faith at Home page includes links to livestreamed Mass, daily Scripture readings, saints of the day, and suggestions for creating a sacred space at home: rcda.org/coronavirus/resources.