COVID-19 PASTORAL DIRECTIVES ARCHEPARCHY OF WINNIPEG

March 12, 2020

Dearly Beloved in Christ!
As you are well aware, the world watches with much fear, anxiety and concern the spreading of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). It has already affected many countries which struggle to control the virus and heal the afflicted. And while we mourn the loss of many lives and extend our sympathies to the bereaving families, we remain steadfast in our hope and unshaken in our faith in the Lord our God, Healer of the infirm and Provider of all good things.
In addition to our continued prayers to console the afflicted and curb the virus, we should also contribute to the general efforts by closely following these recommendations:
1) If you notice any flu-like symptoms, please restrict your interaction with other people to a minimum, refrain from attending church services and contact your doctor at the earliest convenience.
2) While in church (especially during the time of the Lenten Fast), concentrate more on spiritual union with the Lord. Venerate the icons, holy relics and objects of piety, but avoid touching them physically (for example, kissing).
3) Make sure you do not touch the communion spoon when receiving Holy Communion. Rather, wait patiently while the priest drops the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ into your mouth.
4) Observe the common rules of personal hygiene, especially washing your hands frequently after being in public spaces.
5) Do not spread information that may cause further anxiety, worry and panic.
Pastors are also asked:
6) Make sure that surfaces of icons, holy relics, objects of piety and even pews are disinfected in our churches.
7) Remove or empty any Holy Water containers, including those found at church entrances.
8) Put a clear plastic cover over the window in confessionals (from the side of the confessing priest) in order to prevent direct physical contact with a penitent.
Let us take every precaution to ensure that the virus does not spread in our communities and bring grave consequences. For more and updated information, please visit the Government of Canada Public Health website: www.canada.ca/en/public-health as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int.
With prayers for your health, physical and spiritual well-being during this Lenten season,
Most Rev. Lawrence Huculak OSBM
MetropolitanReligious Sisters and Laity of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg

 


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