Current St Brigid’s Safety Regulations

Published March 26, 2020 by Fr Erick Niyiragira in Announcements

Due to the dangers that COVID19 can spread quickly and kill people. As a parish we want to protect our priests and lay volunteers together with everyone in the community. We want to be able to come together later in full numbers once all is over. For now, we have taken strict regulations to manage this issue. Consequences of failure to follow this may mean that the person has to stop from working on behalf of St Brigid’s.

Current St Brigid’s Safety Regulations in relation to Sacraments and Prayer Groups

These regulations are subject to change as time goes on.

-No masses of any form or distributing communion in the Church or outside.
-This includes masses that are not led by St Brigid’s priests. They have to be told.
-No private masses with a group or a family.
-There will be recorded masses of different forms on our website and Facebook.
-We will also distribute these links in weekly bulletins.
-You can provide us with your email address or phone number so that we can provide you with such material for masses online or handouts for prayers.

Prayer Groups
-No physically present prayer groups or sharing reflections in or out of the Church.
-No priests, sisters or lay visiting people or being visited for prayers. -People can call for prayers on the phone.
-Groups can be creative with either internet or other ways of praying together but physically separated.

Reconciliation and anointing (Attention: high risk of spreading the virus)
-Reconciliation and anointing by appointment can be made only if someone is very unwell.
-If family calls, to get permission from the hospital about someone else coming. There could also be a chaplain in which case the chaplain could attend to the unwell person. If one of our priests has to go, physical distancing is required.
-Everyone to avoid speaking to the other person while close.
-Priest to ask the person to bow down and then use a cotton tip to anoint, silently.
-Priest to wear gloves, mouth mask, and goggles.
-Priest leaves, to dispose the items worn and wash hands before touching his face.

Funerals and already booked baptisms and weddings
-Baptisms to be put on hold to until further notice.
-Wedding and Funeral people to bring only4 people (weddings) and 9 (funerals Incl. directors). They can arrange streaming for their friends if they wish.
-If wedding people want to change the date, to accept their requests.
-Both funeral and weddings to be held outside of the Church.Make it as brief as possible. No more than one reading, no long homily.
-No mass or communion service; only service.
-To talk pastorally to the family explaining why these changes are important.
-To encourage them to request a memorial mass or wedding anniversary for when we are allowed to have mass again.
-Priest or Deacon to keep the distance from objects and people.
-The priest or deacon not to go to burial, final committal at the Church.
-Parish team to provide chairs set up for physical distancing and to leave after setting up.
-Wipe chairs with wipes and gloves and dispose them before sanitising hands. -The family will not be able to use the church yard for longer than 30min after the service. No eating or drinking at all, just photos.
-To make it clear, people’s bond (money) will be lost if they stay for longer than 30min or forcefully refuse to follow the instructions.
-In case of bad weather, this can be held in the Church with chairs set up at the front of the altar, no sitting on pews.
-To be ready to be told in advance the expectation of being refused to enter the Church or joining the service if numbers are over the limit.
-One entrance: To have only the front doors of the church open.-Anyone who looks unwell to be refused to come in.
-To be told instructions before the service, where to seat and to avoid touching objects.
-To discourage people to post on social media photos taken in the Church because they could put us in trouble if there are not within the distances required.
-Sanitisers available outside churches for everyone to use before and after.

Weddings and Baptisms that are not booked yet
-Not to accept any bookings until further notice. Bookings for 2021can be reviewed in July.

Home visitation
-No home visitation with or without communion to the elderly until further notice.
-No visiting families for meals.
-We can call them or drop newsletters at their doors making sure we washed our hands before touching the newsletters or other things.
-All volunteers that normally take communion can call them each week or a few times a week to have a chat and maybe say a prayer together on the phone.
-To report to the Parish Team if someone is very ill. Personal quiet prayer in the Church and/or Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament-Under the new Government regulations, the Church will remain closed.
-We encourage people to stay home and pray from there for everyone’s safety -If people have to come, they can have individual prayers in the Church grounds, no group prayers.
-Anyone who looks unwell to please stay home. -Everyone to be ready to be told they can’t pray in a group on the grounds.

Pastoral Approach to all people acting on behalf of St Brigid’s

To follow with three Cs (thanks to Mary Leask for the idea). St Brigid’s Parish holds high these expectations especially at this time. If anyone struggles to follow this more than twice, they will have to be stopped from acting on behalf of St Brigid’s for their own good and the good of all.

With Care
-Care of self to be in right state of mind before dealing with people that may be anxious.
-Care of self by having needed breaks and sharing with someone else about the experience.
-Care for those people who are anxious by avoiding to argue with them.
-Care by not raising voice other them or not letting them finish to speak.
-Caring face with smiling face or just simple, not too sad or angry at all.

With Compassion
-Compassion is being Christian and we are Christian organisation.
-Compassion goes enriches Caring; it is trying to feel the pain of the other. -Compassionately reassuring the person that we can never feel their pain but are here to help with whatever we can; and to thank them for their sharing if they share.
-Compassion is calmly respecting the person at a deepest level. To not complain to anyone publicly or too negatively about our terrible experience which may degrade someone’s dignity.
-Compassion is spreading positivity and taking care of the negativity professionally and respectfully.

With Certainty
-Being clear of what the parish has decided and to keep repeating the same message.
-Certainty by not listening and then give our personal opinion that is not in line with what the Parish is asking.
-Certainty by admitting that this could change but for now this is what has been decided.

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