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When we are prevented from receiving the Eucharist at Mass, the Church encourages us to make an act of “spiritual communion,” where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion.
Bishop Gainer Suspends Holy Week & Easter Masses
March 26, 2020
Today, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer regrettably announces that no public Masses will be celebrated for Palm Sunday, Holy Week or Easter. This difficult decision was made after careful consideration of the decree (In time of Covid-19 (II)) issued by Pope Francis, and in following the recommendations of state and local government and, most especially, out of continued concern for the health and wellbeing of the faithful during these unprecedented times.
“Our Diocese, our nation and our world are experiencing the unthinkable with the coronavirus. With this global pandemic in mind, the Holy See, Pope Francis, has decreed that all Holy Week and Easter Masses will be celebrated, but that countries impacted by coronavirus and in cases where restrictions regarding the assembly and movement of people are in place, the bishop and priests may celebrate without the presence of the faithful. With the restrictions and recommendations from our state government, and in consideration of the highly contagious nature of this virus, it would be irresponsible of me to open our parishes while still in the midst of this pandemic,” said Bishop Gainer. “Please know the impact of this announcement is not lost on me. I too am deeply hurting by not being able to gather with the faithful for the celebration of Mass.
“Although we cannot come together for public Masses during this holiest time of year, our priests will celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses. Many of our Parishes are live streaming these Masses and I encourage the faithful to participate in Mass through these online means.”
Parishes throughout the Diocese have been asked to bless the palms used on Palm Sunday and to make them available for parishioners at a later date. The Chrism Mass in which the Holy Oils used in celebrating the sacraments are blessed and which traditionally is held during Holy Week, and includes a gathering of all priests from the Diocese in order to renew their priestly promises, has also been postponed. Parishes within the Diocese have been asked to prepare worship aids and distribute them to parishioners, allowing the faithful to more actively participate in the Holy Week and Easter Masses remotely.
Additional information on live stream options and resources for parishioners are available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website.
Additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations from the Diocese are also available on the Health Alerts page.
Bishop Gainer Joins Fellow PA Bishops in Temporarily Suspending Masses
March 16, 2020
Today and effective immediately until further notice, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, out of great concern for the health of the faithful and in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has temporarily suspended all daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Additionally, Bishop Gainer has suspended all public liturgies and devotions, and has asked that all churches and chapels be closed, including all perpetual adoration chapels.
Bishop Gainer made this decision after careful consideration of the recommendations from public health officials, and out of great concern for the health and well-being of the faithful, our clergy and parish staffs, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life in Christ, strengthening us to remain firm in our faith as we journey through this life. Making this difficult decision to temporarily suspend Masses and close our churches was not made lightly,” said Bishop Gainer. “Rather, this decision has been made after careful discussions and considerable reflection on the advice being provided from healthcare professionals. I deeply care for all those members of my flock. As chief shepherd, it is my duty to see to their spiritual health, and now in these challenging times, also to their physical welfare. I continue to pray for all those impacted by this virus, for our medical professionals caring for the ill and for all people facing these uncertain times. I also pray for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary, health of the sick.”
A listing of live broadcasting and/or recordings of Masses from parishes throughout the Diocese is available on the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website, www.hbgdiocese.org. Daily and Sunday Masses are also available from EWTN on Comcast channel 291 in the Harrisburg area, or online at https://video.ewtn.com/daily-mass.
Additional resources for parishes and the faithful will be available, also on the Diocesan website, in the coming days. These resources will include ways the faithful can continue to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Please visit the Health Alerts page of the Diocesan website, www.hbgdiocese.org, for the most up-to-date information regarding the Diocese’s response to COVID-19, including a listing of Diocesan event cancelations and postponements, as well as additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations.
Letter from Father Quinlan regarding COVID-19 (3/13/2020)
Bishop Gainer Grants Dispensation for Sunday Mass Obligation
March 12, 2020
Today and effective immediately until further notice, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has dispensed the faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Despite the suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, all regularly scheduled masses will remain open to the public for those who wish to attend. Bishop Gainer made this move out of great concern for the health and well-being of the faithful, their families, our clergy and parish staff, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Those still wishing to attend Mass are welcome, but are asked to be careful in their contact with others. The Diocese advises those who are currently ill, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system to remain at home.
In addition to the dispensation, the Diocese has also requested that all parishes suspend the sign of peace; suspend the use of holy water fonts; suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood by way of the Chalice; take great care when separating the Holy Eucharist into separate vessels by pouring the hosts from one vessel to another; frequently wash hands, especially for our Priests, Deacons and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; and regularly wash and disinfect doorknobs, pews and other places of high contact.
Additionally, at this time, the preferred method of reception of Holy Communion is “in the hand.” This is not a theological but rather a practical recommendation. However, no one is forbidden from receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.
Please visit the Diocesan website, www.hbgdiocese.org, for a listing of Diocesan event cancelations and postponements, as well as additional COVID-19 prevention measures and recommendations from the Diocese.
WATCH MASS LIVE
Holy Name of Jesus Church will live
stream Mass on our Facebook Page every
day from the convent chapel.
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m
Sunday: 10:15 a.m.
Other Parishes within the Diocese of
Harrisburg live streaming Mass:
- St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg – Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and weekday 12:00 noon Masses are live streamed to the Diocesan YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/hbgdiocese)
- Good Shepherd Church, Camp Hill - Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and weekday 8:30 a.m. Masses are live streamed to their Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/goodshepcamphill)
- Prince of Peace Church, Steelton - Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass is live streamed to their website (www.popsteelton.org/live-streaming-of-mass)
St. James Church, Lititz - All weekend Masses (Saturday 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.) and daily Masses (9:00 a.m.) are live streamed to their website (www.stjameslititz.org/liturgy)
St. Joan of Arc Church, Hershey - Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and weekday 9:00 a.m. Masses are live streamed to their Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/stjoanhershey)
St. Joseph Church, Mechanicsburg - All weeekend Masses (Saturday 4:00 p.m.; Sunday 8:00 a.m., 9:45 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.) are live streamed to their Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/stjosephmechanicsburg)
For more listings, please visit www.hbgdiocese.org/coronavirus/#parishes-live-streaming-mass