Parishioners are Excused from Attending Mass Due to Coronavirus
Experts say, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we should be practicing social distancing. We should we staying home whenever we can, and not attending events where a lot of people will be. This means changing our daily routines and even staying away from places like grocery stores and churches. I, myself attend church every week and enjoy it very much, so it was very hard for me not to go this week, but if this is what's best foe everyone, I will do it.
According to The Patch, Bishop David M O'Connell from the Diocese of Trenton has excused parishioners from going to church in Mercer, Burlington Monmouth and Ocean County. Masses will still be celebrated, but if churchgoers do not feel comfortable going, they don't have to. He also stresses that anyone who is giving out Holy Communion must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before handing it out. He is also encouraging churches to cancel large gatherings and if they are planning I know at my church, we had to cancel a bunch of events because we don't want to put anyone at risk. He still recommends that anyone tune into a mass on tv or perhaps live stream ones.
There are a few other instructions he has put into place to keep everyone safe. You can read more on his statement here.
UPDATE AS OF 3/16 @ 6:20am: The Diocese has also CLOSED & CANCELED schools and religious programs from today until the 27th.