Being a Catholic during lockdown
Directives from the Bishops of England and Wales.
Archbishops of England and Wales write about the current situation.
There will be no public masses for the time being. The Bishops have dispensed the faithful from the Sunday Obligation. Priests (parish priest and assistant priests) will continue to offer mass privately each day for the parishioners and for all because as often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.
Baptisms should be deferred until such time that the public health advice is that congregations can gather safely.
Confession may be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed (eg a physical barrier between the penitent and the priest such as a grille and cloth). The use of Rite II and Rite III of the Rite of Penance is not permitted as this, by necessity, requires the gathering of people in our churches.
If possible, the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony should be deferred until such time that people can gather in numbers safely. However, if this is not possible and only in the most pressing of circumstances, then those present for the marriage should be restricted to the celebrant, bride and groom and immediate family, and if necessary, the legal Registrar.
Anointing of the Sick
No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating until the isolation period ends. However, do offer phone support. When anointing the sick, the Oil of the Sick can be applied using a cotton bud which can be burned afterwards (one end for the head and the other for the hands) and the priest extend his hands over the sick person for laying on of hands, without physical contact. This has been confirmed as a valid mode of celebrating the sacraments which involve “laying on of hands.” Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should follow advice from the staff on infection control.
The funeral service should take place at the graveside or at a crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or crematorium authorities. Arrangements should be made for a Mass to be celebrated in memoriam when congregations are allowed to gather.
These should be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely within our churches.
With acknowledgement to the National Catholic Register
2. Read the Mass readings daily. They can be found here.
3. Read Magnificat. Temporarily, online versions are available for free as a service to the Church. This resource offers spiritual inspiration and the Mass readings.
4. Pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, two of our most powerful prayers after the Mass.
5. Make a Spiritual communion in your own words, or use this prayer written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori:
I believe that you
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things,
and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
6. Go to adoration and make a Holy Hour if your church is still open. If not, go to Online Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for a listing of 13 chapels that broadcast adoration 24/7: https://virtualadoration.home.blog/.
7. Pray to Our Lady Help of the Sick for all those who have contracted the coronavirus and those who will in the future and a novena to Our Lady of Monte Berico, for protection against it.
8. Develop a devotion to the dying to help escort them safely into the arms of Jesus. The whole reason Masses are getting suspended is due to the risk of death. Venerable Sister Mary Potter (1847-1913) promoted devotion to the dying in her book Devotion to the Dying: Mary’s Call to Her Loving Children. She wrote that we must pray for the salvation of dying sinners and that those graces will return to our own loved ones when they are dying: “How pleasing this devotion is to Our Lord, who is Love Incarnate, and to Our Lady, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit! The saints tell us that we can do nothing more charitable than pray and offer sacrifices for the dying. They are on the threshold of eternity; the state in which they die will determine their eternity; for ‘in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be’ (Ecclesiastes 11:3).”
9. Watch “The Veil Removed” to deepen your appreciation of the Mass. This five-minute video removes the veil of this world to reveal the supernatural celebration of the Eucharist depicted in Revelation and given to us by Jesus at the Last Supper.
10. Open your Bible and read it.
We are living in a time that most of us probably never imagined could really happen — not just the pandemic, but Masses shutting down around the world. Yet God can use all things for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Let us use this as a time to grow closer to him and to bear fruit through increasing our prayers and sacrifices for our own good and the good of the world.
With the current lack of public masses our Parishes will suffer financially. As you will understand many more people will be in need of our help and of course bills will still have to be paid. Please consider setting up a standing order - this is safe, secure and will help tide the parish over this difficult time.
Download mandate forms for:
Our Lady and St Hubert’s with St Wulstan’s
You can also set up standing orders via online banking using this information:
SRCDTR St Charles, Rishton
Account number: 7098 6518
Sort code: 20-55-34
SRCDTR St Mary's, Clayton le Moors
Account number: 3074 8420
Sort code: 20-55-34
SRCDTR Our Lady and St Hubert's with St Wulstan's, Great Harwood
Account number: 3093 1802
Sort code 20-55-34
All three parishes have their accounts in Barclays Bank.
Please let Father Farrell know if you do set up a standing order.
If you would like to make a gift aid declaration the form is here. You can complete and hand in the Gift Aid form to Fr Farrell at a later date.
Thank you for all you do for the parish.
Fr. Ian Farrell
The Diocese of Salford compiled the list of resources to help parishioners through these uncertain times. This includes information about livestreamed Masses in our Diocese, as well as prayer, Lent and liturgical resouces for families. The resource pack is available here.
A lot of people have found Universalis very useful. It has daily Mass readings, reflection about the feast or saint of the day and the prayer of the Church, which is offered daily by all the clergy, religious and many of the lay faithful around the world.