From the Diocese of Brooklyn, new guidelines for the days ahead:
GUIDELINES FOR HOLY WEEK 2020 IN THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
Even during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic the celebration of these most holy days of the church year require a pastoral attentiveness so that the saving events commemorated are carried out with faith and devotion. The Apostolic See has granted a dispensation for priests to celebrate the Liturgies of the Triduum without the participation of the faithful. The following directives derive from the recent instructions from the Holy See and the USCCB for the celebration of the Triduum and out of concern for your health and safety, please be mindful of the following:
There are to be no public celebrations of Palm Sunday and of the Sacred Paschal Triduum.
The following notes are for the priest’s private celebration:
The Liturgies of Holy Week will be aired on NET-TV and streamed on social media. Parishes which have been livestreaming Masses are encouraged to continue. Priests who do not celebrate these liturgies are to pray the prescribed prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours. If there are to be private celebrations of the liturgies, with no congregations present, then the following directives should be observed.
PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S PASSION
In the Roman Missal “The Third Form: The Simple Entrance” (16f) is to be used. Mass is celebrated like normal Sunday Mass (though without a congregation). The Proper readings of the day (Year A) are to be used.
GIVEN THAT BROOKLYN AND QUEENS ARE IN THE EPICENTER OF THIS CRISIS, Churches are to remain closed. Mindful of everyone’s health, palms are not to be distributed to the faithful at this time. They may be blessed at a later date using the form of blessing outside Mass. They may be distributed at a later date communicated by the Diocesan Bishop. DO NOT place palms outside church for people to come and pick up.
The Chrism Mass will be celebrated on June 19, 2020 at 7:30 PM, the Feast of the Sacred Heart (depending on circumstances at that time) and the Holy Oils will be distributed at a later date to be announced. Until that time, please continue to use the Holy Oils blessed at the previous year’s Chrism Mass until further notice.
HOLY THURSDAY EVENING MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Proper Mass and Readings for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper are to be used. Mass is celebrated as usual. There is a Special Form of Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) should it be used. The Washing of Feet (Mandatum) is omitted. At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle. Mass concludes as normal with a Blessing.
GOOD FRIDAY CELEBRATION OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
The celebration takes place as prescribed in the Roman Missal. At the conclusion of the Solemn Intercessions, the following intercession is to be added.
XI. For an end to the pandemic
Let us pray, dearly beloved, for a swift end to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts our world, that our God and Father will heal the sick, strengthen those who care for them, and help us all to persevere in faith.
Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:
Almighty and merciful God, source of all life, health and healing, look with compassion on our world, brought low by disease; protect us in the midst of the grave challenges that assail us and in your fatherly providence grant recovery to the stricken, strength to those who care for them, and success to those working to eradicate this scourge.
Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
At the time of the Adoration of the Holy Cross after the celebrant’s veneration, he holds the Cross up and invites the people watching via social media to adore the Holy Cross from their homes with these or similar words:
Dearly Beloved, look to the Cross of Christ and cast upon it your joys and hopes, your griefs and anxieties. Adore the Cross on which Jesus Christ Redeemed the World.
The Celebration continues as normal. The celebrant receives Holy Communion.
The following Spiritual Communion (or similar) could be prayed:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
PLEASE NOTE that the laws of fast and abstinence ARE IN EFFECT for Good Friday. There is no dispensation given for Good Friday. (The norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.)
The Collection for the Holy Land which normally takes place during the Good Friday Liturgy is being transferred to a later date.
THE EASTER VIGIL
The celebration begins with the simple lighting of the Easter Candle, there is no Blessing of Fire. The optional rites preparing the candle may be done beforehand. After the Paschal Candle is lighted the Easter Proclamation is proclaimed. “The Liturgy of the Word” follows. As per ritual at least three readings are to be read. One of which is Exodus 14. Matthew’s Gospel is read followed by the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, General Intercessions and the Liturgy of the Eucharist follows as normal.
Live streamed Masses may be celebrated.