Updated: Guidelines during Corona epidemic
[Due to the new regulations issued by the Finnish government which declared a state of emergency today,] the Catholic Church in Finland, for its part, wants to support the government’s goals and principles in fighting the virus. For this reason, in addition to the regulations in force (see below), all public celebrations of the Holy Mass will be cancelled beginning on the morning of Wednesday March 18. The Church wants to make it clear, however, that these cancellations do not mean that the celebration of the Sacraments would cease, or that visits to the sick or dying would stop. Churches will stay open daily for prayer and pastoral care. More exact information can be acquired directly from the parishes.
The Catholic Church in Finland
Diocese of Helsinki
Diocesan Guidelines during the Corona Epidemic
The Diocese of Helsinki has decided to apply the following rules because of the Corona virus epidemic:
1. Those visiting churches or parishes must avoid close contacts and follow attentively the general guidelines published by the authorities.
2. All parish activities except celebrations of the Holy Mass are cancelled. These cancellations include club meetings, church coffees etc. In some special circumstances the parish priest may allow some small gatherings, for example baptisms and funerals. Individual meetings can occur, as long as the general guidelines are followed.
3. The faithful are asked to avoid receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, and the Blood of Christ will not be distributed to them. If one, because of one’s conscious conviction absolutely wants to receive the Holy Host on the tongue, one must be certain that the priest is in no danger of touching the communicant.
4. Those of the faithful, for whom the virus poses great risk, and for those who have been placed or advised to stay in quarantine by the civil authorities, as well as their family members, are asked to stay at home; they are freed from the Sunday obligation. Those of the faithful, who have even slight symptoms of flu or who are greatly afraid of being contaminated in the Mass, are asked to stay at home as well; they, too, are freed from the Sunday obligation.
5. All those who cannot come to Mass on Sunday, are encouraged to follow life streams from our parishes or elsewhere or at least read the mass readings. They and all the faithful are encouraged also to make use of the worthy practice of Spiritual Communion (cf. Bishop Kozon’s message to all the Faithful in the Nordic Countries 12.3.2020 (in German)).
6. Priests and other employees of the Diocese are asked to avoid traveling abroad.
Helsinki, March 13, 2020
rev. Marco Pasinato
[Unofficial translation 13.3.2020]