Funeral Masses will continue to be celebrated with immediate family members only, across all 6 western dioceses, and churches across the region will remain open during the pandemic.
In three dioceses in other areas of the country, the celebration of funeral Masses have been discontinued under the present Covid-19 restrictions and churches have been closed.
The Bishop of the Killala Dr John John Fleming says that funeral Masses will be available in the Archdiocese of Tuam, and the dioceses of Galway, Elphin, Killala, Achonry and Clonfert, (the 6 western dioceses).
While the Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary says churches across the region will remain open to the public, however, the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday across the 6 dioceses will be postponed.
Archbishop Neary confirmed to Midwest News today that all churches in this region will remain open but he said they are urging those attending the Church throughout the day to abide by social distancing , hygiene and other restrictions imposed under the Covid 19 control measures.
The Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday is to be postponed across all six western dioceses.
The Chrism Mass is where priests renew their promises and the oils are blessed. The oils are then used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Ordinations and the Blessing of the Sick throughout the Church year.
The Chrism is consecrated at the Chrism Mass. However, Archbishop Neary explained that three of the six western Bishops are cocooned at present due to government restrictions on Covid-19, as they are over 70 – himself, Dr John Fleming of Killala and the Bishop of Galway Dr Brendan Kelly and the new Bishop of Achonry has not yet been consecrated, and so they have decided to postpone the Chrism Mass that ordinarily takes place during Holy week, to a later date.
Bishop John Fleming told Midwest News that baptism will be offered if there is a risk to a child’s mortality, and that weddings can be celebrated with just the couple and two witnesses.