You need to read this, from my friend Deacon Steven Greydanus in the National Catholic Register, who describes learning he has the coronavirus, and what that means for a deacon. This is a rare first-person account from a member of the clergy who is living with the virus.
Attention must be paid:
Early in March, bringing communion to the elderly residents of a nearby assisted living facility, I found myself thinking, I mustn’t get COVID — it would kill these people! Later in the week it hit me: Oh. I’m not going to be able to continue bringing communion in any case, am I.
The first week Mass was canceled, we had been slated to sing Ah, Holy Jesus. I love and dread that hymn every year — I can’t sing it at all; it wrecks me every time.
Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered
The slave hath sinnéd and the Son hath suffered
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth
The day after that they locked down the nursing homes and hospitals. The residents at the assisted living facility we visited stay in their rooms all the time now, which is heartbreaking, especially for those who are confused and can’t understand. It’s not just communion they’re missing — Suz and the kids came with me and we visited with a lot of them, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish. Now they’re all alone all the time.
The next blow was realizing that we wouldn’t get back to church by Holy Week.
For the first time in years, I wouldn’t be singing the Good Friday solemn intercessions, with their ringing refrain, “Let us kneel! Let us stand!”
Worse, I wouldn’t be singing the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil.
I look forward all year to the Exsultet; it’s the high point of the whole year for a deacon. It’s such a beautiful, expressive prayer.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
It was a week ago that the first symptoms hit me.
Read it all. And please in your charity remember him and his family in your prayers.