Priests to wear face masks when distributing Communion

Priests to wear face masks when distributing Communion

Priests have been told they should wear face masks while distributing Communion when churches reopen later this month.

It is among the guidelines included in a framework document to ensure they can welcome parishioners back safely.

From June 29, church services are set to resume.

Ahead of that, the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference has issued a framework document which seeks to ensure the safety and health of people, ministers, and priests.

Physical distancing will need to be in place and areas where people can sit must be clearly indicated while stewards may show people to their seats.

All holy water fonts are to be emptied and hand sanitizers should be placed at entrances.

Reusable prayer books will not be allowed.

The sign of peace can be left out, or offered in a way which avoids any physical contact.

Queuing for Holy Communion should be carefully planned, and stewards may help to ensure social distancing is in place.

Priests and Eucharistic ministers will have to wear face coverings and sanitize their hands before giving the communion out.

Hand sanitizer should also be placed close to them, so they can re-sanitise their hands if necessary.

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