Diocese of Brooklyn announces changes to Catholic services amid coronavirus

Posted: Updated:

As the number of coronavirus cases have increased in New York state, the Diocese of Brooklyn have made changes to Catholic religious services for the safety of worshipers.

The diocese has banned the distribution of wine, also known as the blood of Christ in a chalice.

“We have not offered it, the chalice of the blood these last several weeks because of the fear of the coronavirus,” says the pastor of Bed-Stuy’s St. Peter Claver Church, Father Daniel Kingsley.


They suggest worshipers receive communion wafers, or the body of Christ, in their hand instead of asking their priest to place it on their tongue.

“I think it is a wise modification because the little things that we do to keep people healthy, it's not a bad idea,” Kingsley says.


And during the sign of peace, when worshipers greet each other with a handshake, the diocese encourages worshipers to be careful.

“As we are shaking people’s hands in a common space, it's not a bad idea to use hand sanitizer. Hand washing before and after, and also if someone looks sick, you yourself are sick, you can refrain and maybe a simple airwaves or nod of the head is fine,” Kingsley adds.

While the diocese has made changes to mass across the borough, it has also extended precaution to Catholic schools by requiring any student or teacher returning from international travel, to have written documentation before returning to school.


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