Things are a little different as we gather to worship at Mass on Sunday mornings! We greet each other with a smile and a wave, not a handshake or a hug. The Kiss of Peace is now shared in the same way, or more formally with a bow. The collection plate is no longer passed around and, for the duration, our coffee hour is suspended. The Common Cup has been withdrawn and we receive Holy Communion in the form of the consecrated bread.
These measures have been mandated by the Archbishop following the advice of government health officials and experts. The intention is to try to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 virus by limiting human physical contact. Along with this, we are encouraged to be vigilant about hand washing and an increased attention to cleaning and sanitizing common areas.
In all of this we need to avoid both overreaction and panic. We need to find ways of supporting and encouraging one another. And of offering help and compassion to those who are affected or infected. Above all, we have to be faithful and diligent about regular prayer, bringing the whole situation into the calm and healing presence of God.
Father Neil Gray