(relative to COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order of 03-20-2020)
March 21, 2020
Regarding Issues of the Sacred Liturgies
In accord with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order of Friday, March 20, 2020, the following adjustments must be made to the guidelines issued earlier this week. All of the following enter into effect Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. until further notice:
- All events and opportunities to gather physically are prohibited.
- All liturgies are canceled with the exception of Masses celebrated by the priest alone. This includes any scheduled times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
- As funeral homes are exempt, funeral services with a minister may be provided at the funeral home and/or graveside, as long as they abide by restrictions placed by civil authorities.
- Churches may remain open, but must follow public restrictions currently in place (i.e. social distancing, not becoming a place of gathering, no congregate services, etc.). This allows individuals access for prayer.
- The Celebration of the Chrism Mass is postponed to a later date yet to be determined.
- Palm Sunday Masses are to be celebrated by the priest alone without the faithful in attendance.
The liturgies of the Sacred Triduum are currently under review and timely guidelines and instructions will be forthcoming.
Regarding Issues of Human Resources
To the maximum extent possible, and in the attempt to honor the spirit of this new Executive Order, we are obliged to encourage our people to remain physically ‘isolated’, thus greatly lessening the opportunity for infection. Although brief visits by limited personnel to handle receipt of mail, process payroll and bank deposits and payments, as well as for essential property maintenance may be necessary, to the maximum extent possible, our employees are not to report to their workplace.
With the express approval of Bishop Scharfenberger, given at the Chancery: March 21, 2020