The interior of the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore.
THERE will be no public Masses celebrated in the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore until further notice.
A statement on the parish website said the decision had been reached following the Government's announcement on the coronavirus emergency.
The normal Mass schedule will be celebrated privately and can be accessed on the parish webcam.
The church will be open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 7pm, Saturday 10.30am to 6pm and on Sunday from 2pm to 7pm.
Meanwhile, the Irish Bishops have issued advice in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.
The instructions take into consideration the new norms issued by the Governmen.
These instructions complement the advice issued earier this week by the Irish Episcopal Conference and remain in place until 29th March. It is likely that these restrictions will continue for some time after that, and instructions regarding the celebration of Holy Week will be issued in due course.
“The motivation for these new restrictive measures is a sense of care for the common good and especially for those most vulnerable. Each Christian community should be acutely aware of the responsibility to care for those who are most at risk. For example, even where it may not be appropriate to visit the elderly, a simple telephone call to enquire about their needs could mean so much to them,” said the statement from the Bishops.
All non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings, such as formation gatherings, retreats and seminars are cancelled.
All Confirmations are postponed until further notice.
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.
Similarly, Church weddings and baptisms may be celebrated on condition that the attendance in Church does not exceed 100 people.
In these difficult and uncertain times, people find strength, consolation and hope in prayer. Churches should remain open for prayer each day.
In the current emergency situation, all 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 on line. It may be possible for some parishes to facilitate attendance at Mass while still observing the health authority’s limit of 100 people.
Concluded the statement: “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 in the front-lines – 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.”