(SNO) – The Catholic Church in Dominica has ban the shaking of hands during the Sign of Peace at Mass due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus.
It was one of a series of strict guidelines by Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire.
They were outlined in a memorandum to parishes on the island to be read in all churches on March 8.
He said the guidelines is to be observed with immediate effect.
The Bishop instructed that during Mass, communion will be given only on the hand.
“There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood,” he wrote.
Malzaire stated that there will be no handshake during the Sign of Peace, suggesting a “graceful bow” instead.
Additionally, no holy water will be provided in fonts at churches.
“Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands with soap and water before and after the distribution of Holy Communion,” the Bishop said.
He also instructed the faithful to cough or sneeze into a flex elbow or tissue and throw the tissue into a closed bin.
Malzaire advised that anyone who exhibit flu-like symptoms should seek medical assistance and stay isolated.
“As we keep strict observance of these guidelines, we continue to pray that the good Lord protect our diocese and our region against the spread of the virus conscious that the Lord is our help and our shield, we continue to put our trust in Him (Ps 28.7),” he wrote.