The Association of Catholic Priests have said that confirmations may need to be suspended due to the corona virus, as well as other precautionary measures.
Regular mass on Sundays, or weekdays – as well as St Patrick’ Day – are currently expected to continue.
However, a statement from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference outlined some precautions that church goers can expect to see.
They include holy water fonts being left empty, shaking hands for a sign of peace to be discouraged and hand sanitiser being provided at the entrance of the church.
Priests and ministers will also sanitise their hands before and after giving holy communion. The congregations are also advised to sit at a safe distance from one another if that is possible.
The statement read: “We strongly encourage people with such conditions to be spiritually united with their local community.
“Where possible they should avail of parish radio broadcasts and webcam.”
Priests will perform baptisms without touching the child as they make the sign of the Cross. They also will use fresh water for every child blessed.
The Association of Catholic Priests also provided guidelines for services such as confirmations and funerals.
The Association of Catholic Priests said: “The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will continue for now but may have to be postponed at very short notice in the light of future advice from the public health authorities.”
People who are feeling unwell have been advised not to attend funerals.
The statement said: “The Church awaits official guidance from the public health authorities in the event of a deterioration in the situation.
“While abiding by all such advice, the Church will always stand with the bereaved and do its best to ensure a Christian burial for those who request it.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling