2 minutes reading time (362 words)

Statement from Bishop Donal McKeown - Coronavirus


On Monday, 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement, instructing people to stay at home wherever possible. He specifically said that churches should be closed.

However, in later clarifications, the Government stated that 'places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer' and that 'live streaming of a service without audience would be permissible'. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF.pdf.

This is a recognition that places of worship can be of considerable importance for many people as they cope with severe restrictions on their movements and their contact with people.

I have encouraged all our priests to facilitate access to churches for private prayer, as far as that is possible and prudent.

Government regulations say that baptisms and weddings should not take place. However, funerals are permitted in places of worship 'following the social distancing guidance'

The Diocese of Derry will continue to do everything we can to support people at this very difficult time.

+ Donal McKeown
Bishop of Derry
Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Pope Francis' Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus' pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

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