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Diocese of Albany Issues Updated Coronavirus Guidelines for Parishes, Local Catholics

March 9, 2020

Given the recent actions and statements by government and medical authorities and, additionally, the increase in the number of cases in New York State, including cases within the Diocese and nearby areas, the Diocese is transitioning toward Stage 2 of its recommended guidelines. While Stage One guidelines should continue to be observed, the following are additional Stage 2 guidelines:

  • A diocesan-wide suspension, until further notice, of distribution of the Eucharist from the chalice/cup. (Receiving the host alone imparts all the graces of the full reception of the Eucharist under both forms.) In addition, Catholics are advised to receive Communion in the hand rather than on the tongue. Parishes have been asked to make provisions for those who are unable to receive even a low-gluten host.
  • A diocesan-wide suspension, until further notice, of the physical sign of peace. People may still, for example, turn to each other and say, “Peace be with you.”
  • Until further notice, holy water fonts are to be emptied and changed regularly. As a further precaution, they may be emptied or removed, if this is judged to be prudent and necessary.
  • Further updates will be given as and when the situation changes.

Diocesan Stage 1 guidelines — and all other updates on preventing the spread of the Coronavirus in the Diocese of Albany — can be found at www.rcda.org/coronavirus.