Irish Bishops have announced that all Confirmatons in Ireland have been postponed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
In a statement from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the priesthood outlined plans to try and stem the spread of coronavirus, including cancelling all non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings, such as formation gatherings, retreats and seminars.
Confirmations will be held at a future date.
Bishops also commented that weddings and baptism may still go ahead “on condition that the attendance in church does not exceed 100 people.”
They advised that churches should remain open every day for prayer, as “in these difficult and uncertain times, people find strength, consolation and hope in prayer. ”
Bishops also said that “Every Catholic is entitled to a dignified Christian burial.” Attendance at Funeral services and Masses should be limited to close relatives and must not exceed 100 attendees within the church building.
The new measures were to come into place from 6pm today (Thursday), in accordance with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s orders on gatherings for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus.
The advice also states that all parishioners are “dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass.” Parishes should inform parishioners of the local possibilities to participate in Mass via local radio and online. It may be possible for some parishes to facilitate attendance at Mass while still observing the health authority’s limit of 100 people.
The list of new norms, issued by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA and Archbishop Michael Neary concluded: “This is an occasion for all of us – especially in families – to pray more intensely for each other and especially for those who have succumbed to the illness. We should pray also for those at the frontlines – especially doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including clergy – that the Lord will protect them as they place their own wellbeing at risk in the service of all.”