Public Health
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 548
    How are you planning to keep your choristers energized and ready to get back into action, if public meetings and solemn worship are cancelled for reasons of public health in your locality?
  • At the moment, (I work in two dioceses next to each other) the Toronto Archdiocese has said nothing except to wash hands and stay home if sick, despite Toronto being the epicenter of the virus at the moment. On the other hand, the Hamilton Diocese has asked us to refrain from receiving Holy Communion on the tongue - a change that's bothered me for sure.

    As of now, I don't see any cancellations of Mass or public worship happening anytime soon, but if it were to, I'd have to just wait it out until said restriction was to end. My choir has issues with energy and motivation for sure - but they survived a very long time with little to no rehearsal before I got on board as director. I'm sure it wouldn't be the end of the world -unless this was in fact the end of the world.
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 171
    On the other hand, the Hamilton Diocese has asked us to refrain from receiving Holy Communion on the tongue - a change that's bothered me for sure.


    Meanwhile in the Diocese of Calgary, only priests are allowed to distribute communion on the tongue priests who distribute communion on the tongue aren’t allowed to distribute communion in the hand. IOW: In parishes where there is only one priest, he must distribute communion on the tongue only and anyone who wants to receive from him, must receive on the tongue. It’s an interesting directive.

    One directive I feel is particularly overkill is The requirement for anyone who travels internationally to voluntarily self-isolate themselves for 14 days even if you feel fine. It’s actually a violation of Canadians’ Charter Rights of free movement throughout the country. The Diocese doesn’t have the authority or power to temporarily restrict that right.
  • Is Bishop Fred Henry still in Calgary, or do I have the wrong diocese?

    That's a clever way of abolishing Communion in the Hand. I wonder how many bishops will replicate the plan.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    Nothing has changed in East Tennessee, other than a directive that we not shake hands at the sign of peace. One of my older choristers was having a blast demonstrating fist, elbow, and hip bumps in the choir loft. They did tell us to stay home if we are sick. Some heed that advice, unfortunately some never will.
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 171
    Is Bishop Fred Henry still in Calgary, or do I have the wrong diocese?


    He retired. We now have Bishop William McGrattan. Things have really improved for the Latin Mass Community and liturgical functions in general.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    In my blighted past I have served as an EMoHC.

    My experience is that Communion in the hand almost always involves hand-to-hand combat. I mean, contact.

    Communion on the tongue almost never involves contact. This is particularly true when the receiver is kneeling, due to sight lines and leverage.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 325
    In my diocese (St. Petersburg), as of today distribution of communion from the chalice is suspended, holy water fonts are empty, including baptismal fonts, and "hand-to-hand and any other physical contact is to be avoided, including at the Sign of Peace." They have also asked people to consider receiving the Host in the hand rather than on the tongue, but the latter hasn't (nor can it) be outright banned. My parish started doing these things last week when these were merely "suggestions."

    As to the Sign of Peace, to quote Cardinal Dolan, "Let's not." And hopefully this can get rid of hand-holding during the Lord's Prayer once and for all.

    As for Communion in the hand vs. on the tongue - I sang for a traditional Requiem Mass last Saturday, so of course distribution of Communion was kneeling at the rail and on the tongue. I barely even felt the Host on my tongue, let alone any fingers in my mouth. As long as communicants open up wide and stick their tongue out a little bit like you're supposed to, receiving on the tongue should actually be safer. And as Kathy points out above, if the receiver is kneeling, it's even easier. Besides, I haven't heard about any Eastern Churches not using the spoon.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,629
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one doing contingency planning.
    Level 1: I sent out an email yesterday AM inquiring about the situation at Walsh University. I have a number of choristers from there, and need to know if they get sent home (as most of the local universities are). So far, no answers,

    Level 2: if Mass is cancelled totally. We could rehearse still, though I'm not sure where. And depending on conditions then, it might not be wise. At the worst, I would offer to do individual voice/music lessons with people over Skype. In either case, the goal would be individual knowledge/skill building, since we wouldn't have a Mass to prepare for.

    I've also made sure I could access the Proper for the Votive Mass in time of Pestilence, and let our priests know I had it (couldn't find it in the LU, but it's in the Gradual and the Proper tool.)

    I'm in academia, we're closing up, it's still unclear if the library is closed and I'll be working from home.
  • Yesterday, a schola member passed on this chant, Stella caeli, to our Lady in a time of pestilence. We'll rehearse it tonight and plan to sing it Sunday. This chant is new to me, The melody strongly reminds me of a sequence. Said to have originated from Coimbra, Portugal.

    Rorate Caeli on Stella Caeli

    I also found a PDF and other file formats on Gregobase, this printed much better for me.
    Stella Caeli chant PDF

    I hope others may do the same. As of now, Sunday's Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington are still on. With prayers for everyone's health.

    Here's a translation:

    The Star of Heaven that nourished the Lord drove away the plague of death which the first parents of man brought into the world. May this bright Star now vouchsafe to extinguish that foul constellation whose battles have slain the people with the wound of death.

    O most pious Star of the Sea, preserve us from pestilence; hear us, O Lady, for Thy Son honors Thee by denying Thee nothing. Save us, O Jesus, for whom Thy Virgin Mother supplicates Thee.
  • Are lay-organized processions in reparation for the sins of the country permitted, and to protect us against the spread of this disease still possible?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,629
    David, your pdf link bounces back to your post; you might want to check your html.
    Or try here.
    Thanked by 1David Sullivan
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I like the prayer to St. Roch against contagion - widely available on the internet so I won't post it here.

    The communion thing I am not worried so much about. If we had to suspend communion for a few weeks we would all survive. No one has advocated that yet, but if they do, I will be fine with it.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,815
    this virus is highly overhyped with hysteria
    Thanked by 3tomjaw tandrews Viola
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 821
    According to an article in the New York Times, the chance of getting this virus is similar to getting the flu. The death rate is approx. 1 in 200. Those most at risk are the elderly, infants, the infirm, and those with compromised immune systems. Suggested precautions are to wash hands for 20 seconds (up to the wrist) with soap and water after using the restroom, after handling trash, before, during, and after cooking, and immediately before eating (after the server picks up the menus at a restaurant if you are eating out.) Use a hand sanitizer liberally throughout the day. Use sanitizing wipes (e.g. clorox wipes) to wipe down work surfaces, door handles, etc.
    Thanked by 2SingerLady JL
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    Yes, @CharlesW, I will be sitting in my pew making a spiritual Communion before I ever consider receiving in the hand.

    There's also no proof that Communion in the hand is in any way more hygienic or lessens contact - the opposite of which is what I have seen stated by most clergy who have made any statements about it, at all.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • SingerLady
    Posts: 14
    I'm in the Archdiocese of Seattle and as of yesterday all Masses are cancelled. Public gatherings of over 250 are banned, and under 250 must abide by certain precautions. I've cancelled all rehearsals and we are planning to wait it out. I'm waiting to hear from the pastor if we might livestream either Mass or some sort of liturgy of the word on Sunday so people can feel a little like they are still part of our community (although I'm not really sure if anything beyond the Liturgy of the Hours exists for only laypeople to run on a Sunday). I have a feeling the answer will be no.

    As far as the choir and Holy Week, I am setting my hopes on being able to resume Mass here for Holy Week. With that in mind, I am putting together a digital practice packet for my volunteer choir members. I am hoping that a combination of their own practice and our one previously scheduled mega-practice on the afternoon of Palm Sunday with our hired pros will be enough to pull through with a few modifications.

    Although I'm of course disappointed and anxious, I understand why our Archbishop made the decision he did. The goal is to slow the curve of the virus so that our hospitals and healthcare workers are not completely overwhelmed, and there are certain folks who simply will not stay home from Mass no matter how vulnerable or sick they are.

    Please pray for us...this is going to be a difficult few weeks.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • All our publicly funded schooling has been shut down for the next 3 weeks starting Monday. I wonder how that will affect things... not good. Due to the age of my choristers I may have to shut down the choir in order to protect them and use Cantor and Organist only until things settle.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    this virus is highly overhyped with hysteria


    Perhaps so, and I suspect you may be right. More of a regional thing, but I have said that if they close Waffle House, then I will take it seriously.

    My choir is up in years and I am 72, so not young either. It is warming up in our southeastern region which usually puts a damper on viruses. It really is about a month too early, but I won't complain about the higher temperatures and will be glad to have them.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    Not all viruses. Rhinoviruses, related to coronaviruses, have cold and warm season versions - and the warm season versions (summer colds) are typically nastier (qualitatively and in length), but less likely to catch if one is outdoors away from folks.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    Not all, but flu type viruses tend to weaken in warmer weather. No one know yet if this particular virus will do the same, but many are hoping it will. It won't die out, but will likely be back during the next winter. Maybe a treatment or vaccine will be developed by then.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    This is, however, not an influenza type virus, actually, despite the use of influenza for comparing symptoms.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    The amount of information publicly available about COVID19 development in Singapore is amazing. Singapore is a country where it is never (well hardly ever) cold, so analysis of that data should give some clues about transmissability in warm weather.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 550
    Hamilton having a diatribe against communion on the tongue is nothing new. One would think that the same facts that make lingual communion theologically superior would also make sense from a sanitary point of view, but I suppose politics come first.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,837
    @a_f_hawkins

    So almost 200 confirmed cases, almost 50% have been discharged, 5% critical and around 45% stable in hospital.
    If the rule that only a third of case will be found (due to no or very mild symptoms)

    Would suggest 600 cases with less than one percent critical, and 14 % hospitalised.

    Having been travelling around London this week everything is continuing normally!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,629
    The parish music director and pastor decided this afternoon that the choirs (including my Gregorian Schola) can't rehearse or sing until at least 3/31, because of Corona. Everything is going to be cantor and organ. At least there's (so far) going to be a Mass. People are sad, because we were going to do the Allegri Miserere.

    Of course this means that I have to reprogram the rest of Lent. Laetare won't be an issue: I'll do Langlais Missa in Simplicitate, Griesbacher Propers, and some other solo stuff. This weekend and Passion Sunday are another issue. I've been kind of a purist about "organ only to support the voices"; I've generally only done things where the organ has doubled vocal parts. But I've also never done an EF cantor-only Mass, which seems outside the tradition, so perhaps in the interest of making things work, I can loosen up a bit.

    So, is there anything Lenty for baritone and organ that people might recommend?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,596
    So far directives from the Dicoese (NB: their spelling) of Springfield, MA, is to not exchange the sign of peace (fine with me), no Chalice for the pips (again, fine with me), and drain the Holy Water (great, lets get rid of one of the Church's most powerful sacramentals (provided it's the 1962 Rite) during a time of emergency).

    They have also cancelled the Diocesan Catholic Life Conference, and the Bishops of the state are deciding whether or not to close the churches or only half of the churches ("temporarily") to "prevent" the spread of The Virus(TM). I wonder if the diocese will mandate that those who are employed by the closed parishes be compensated for having their jobs taken away from them during this panic as a matter of justice? ... I doubt it. When it comes to Christian Virtues, the Catholic Church is on the bottom of the rung, sorry to say. I also assume that, even if they close all of the churches, the Bishop & Co. will still expect the Annual Diocesan Appeal to swindle the faithful on schedule.

    Meanwhile, the public colleges are going bananas---three of them in my county have closed for the rest of the semester. And currently all outside/community events at the Community College where I also work are currently cancelled, pending revue on April 1. Some women this morning were questioning whether they should go to the bathroom at the College because the two janitors on day duty weren't scrubbing the finish off of the toilet seats every five minutes, and where exchanging recipes for home-made hand sanitizer in case the shops should run out.

    I'm not saying that this doesn't have the potential to be serious, but the sheer panic is getting a bit out of hand.

    There are roughly 60,000 active cases of COVID-19 in a global population of 7.7 billion (with the birthrate ourstriping the deathrate at about 2:1): only about 0.00079% of the population have been diagnosed with this thing, and only about 5,000 have died globally. Compare that to the ~95,000 deaths from seasonal flu since Jan. 1, 2020, or ~8,355,000 abortions, or ~60,800 mothers who have died in child birth, or ~192,800 deaths from malaria, or ~211,000 suicides. Think about that: almost 100,000 more people have committed suicide since Jan. 1, than have contracted COVID-19 (~130,000) since the outbreak, and almost 90,000 more people have died of the flu than COVID-19 (~5,000).

    Be safe, take logical precautions, but don't panic. I.e:

    image
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I agree, the hysteria is out of control. I just got an email that the Lenten Friday evening fish fry is cancelled tomorrow. However, they will still have Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. OK, one may be dangerous the other not? Sounds more like time for an anointing of the sick service or to break out the St. Roch prayers. Couldn't do any harm but every one needs to calm down.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 550
    @Jeffrey Quick: Fauré's Libera Me?
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Although I agree that we shouldn't panic, there is a huge problem in the US with the statistics for active cases.

    Namely, health officials have not been approving widespread testing.

    With many cities experiencing "community spread," the diagnosed cases are a fraction of the actual cases. My guess is they are a small fraction.

    Again, not to worry, but I'm all for limiting contact.

    Personally I am not taking holy water from the stoups, but from the two bottles I have at home (Jordan and Lourdes), and the parish-made holy water on my desk at work.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 275
    Diocese of Rochester, NY.

    https://catholiccourier.com/sites/default/files/DioceseCoronavirusPrecautions.pdf

    Summary:
    -No chalice for the laity (already in place d/t flu
    -Sign of Peace to be completely omitted, always (had been a suggestion of avoiding contact before)
    -No physical contact with anyone during Mass at all. Specifically: DO NOT HOLD HANDS AT THE OUR FATHER. ITERIM DICO. WHY ARE Y’ALL STILL DOING THIS?
    -Holy water stoups to be emptied, cleaned, and refilled regularly; may be emptied if deemed necessary, but certainly can be kept in use.
    -Fresh water for every baptism, and clean the font before and after.
    -Clean all surfaces per health department guidelines.
    -Practice “social distancing” at Mass.
    -The governor has banned gatherings of 500 or more. If a building has a capacity of 500 or less, its capacity is to be halved to determine its new legal capacity, to allow people to sit properly separated. E.G. Our church legally seats 500, not counting choir loft, sanctuary, etc. Now, we must not have >250 in there at any one time, so they can spread out. If this means there will be too many people at a Mass on Sunday, add another Mass, until there are no more than 1/2 capacity present at any one Mass. (sadly, completely achievable in upstate NY).
    -Cancel unspecified unnecessary events (Lenten luncheon is off, choir remains on for now).
    -Wash hands.

    All this in effect until further notice. All confirmations have been postponed until sometime after April 15, and will be rescheduled once we have a better idea what is happening.

    Given the progress of the virus in our state, I imagine further restrictions may be put in place, but don’t know what.

    Thankfully, due to the good work of everyone here, there is not any day of the year where one or three or five singers can still praise the Lord in the simplest way while they have breath.

    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 457
    A couple weeks ago touching during Mass was banned, and Communion only in the hand instituted pretty much city wide. Yet the priests then greet everyone with hugs and hand-shakes on the way out the door after Mass, or in the sacristy after Mass... so I think the concept isn't quite settling in. I've switched to singing at a friend's parish where the priest only offers Communion on the tongue, holding a linen drenched with alcohol in his left hand in order to wipe his fingers between each communicant.

    Given the particularly intense effect this virus is having on Christian life, it does seem rather diabolical. Most of my Catholic friends, even the ones I'd consider rather progressive or modern, think it's the End for sure.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    In my entire state, 115 people have been tested.

    One hundred fifteen people.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    In my entire state


    Don't you have to go somewhere to be tested? An ER, or health dept, maybe?
    Most doctors offices don't seem to have it.
    I heard there was a case at the downtown hospital, here, waiting for the health dept to come administer a test to confirm... Are we supposed to just go to the hospital and submit ourselves to tests?

    Anyway, every time a Mass that goes beyond the priest's daily obligation is cancelled, perhaps whoever is notified of such should suggest a Eucharistic procession to said priest/bishop, instead.
    Prayer and acts of reparation are always a good idea.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • When the city of Rome was assaulted by a plague, eons and eons ago, there was a procession, and the plague ended.

    Why are we in such a rush to abandon our Catholic faith?

    Sure, there are vulnerable people, but the reaction I'm seeing all over the place (but, interestingly, not among my closest friends) is outright panic. In our diocese, people who are over 50 or have an underlying immune weakness have a dispensation not to attend Mass.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw francis CCooze
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,106
    Our choir never fully recovered from this year's flu season, and tonight attendance plummeted to 5, giving the tenors a chance to spread their wings and try singing bass and alto. The San Francisco Symphony, Ballet, large choral societies and music departments are closed, which will have dire effects for most musicians.

    In the meantime Chorus America is crowd-sourcing data here.
  • Excepting the Devil from our list, who benefits from all this chaos and panic?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,106
    Cui bono? Well, a few moments ago I heard a Whitehouse spokesman say Trump went on the air to ally fear. But maybe he meant allay.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    Where is M*A*S*H when it's needed?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,837
    @Salieri

    Our friends in Paris have an improved version of the famous poster... scroll down!
    https://schola-sainte-cecile.com/goodies/
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Taking my cue from the Ontario Government, which has shut down schools for two weeks following our one week March break starting next week, I have decided to suspend my choir season until further notice. With an older population, I can't let it continue in good conscience lest someone get sick. Over the past few days, the number of cases in Ontario has skyrocketed.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Excepting the Devil from our list, who benefits from all this chaos and panic?

    The elderly and those with underlying health conditions, whose cases are likely to be severe and who, if we follow Italy's lead of initial non-action, will perish without medical or pastoral care, and without funerals.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    Well, should we be singing? If public liturgies are permitted, perhaps just very well spaced in the not-as-filled pews?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    I have moved my place at daily Mass--which no one ever does--to be 8-10 feet from everyone else.

    I try not to touch the pews or Communion kneeler or anything non-porous with my hands.

    If we have Sunday Mass I won't sing.

    My current thought is: try not to be a link in the chain.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,509
    I am going to poll my singers Sunday and follow their lead as to rehearsals. If they want to continue, I will be there. If not, then plan "B" goes into effect.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    It seems to me that this former UK health official is trying to say as clearly as possible, let everyone stay at home for the next few weeks and things will not be as terrible as they otherwise will.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3rmMh2pLKAc&feature=youtu.be
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 548
    In 1918, the city of New Ulm, Minn. banned proactively public meetings, entertainments, church services, and school. The outbreak of influenza was much mitigated there compared to other cities. This is nothing new, and hardly a bad idea.

    Mortality is not the only factor here. Hospitalization is high. It is important to keep cases down to maximize effective use of medical resources.
  • Carol
    Posts: 558
    Our choir practice was cancelled last evening. We will reassess next week to see whether the sky has indeed fallen.
  • Simon
    Posts: 127
    Here in the Netherlands all church services on Saturday evening and Sunday of all denominations have been cancelled until at least the end of March. Schools, however, remain open but universities and colleges are closed. Neighboring Belgium has also forbidden public Sunday church services, have closed cafes and pubs as well as restaurants until April 3.
  • It's amazing to me how glibly we all now speak of the government banning church services and free assembly. The government banning church services. I guess that's the new normal since...Monday? Nobody cares? Nobody is concerned about precedent, or logical conclusions which might be drawn from this? There is a lack of thought that I find more frightening than any of the health issues. We can expect an outbreak like this every few years - maybe even next winter if this one comes back. Will everything stop each time? Right now we have people begging the government to shut down churches and free assembly.

    Our diocese is implementing the usual things listed above, but so far no stoppage of Masses. I have no plans at present to stop choirs. However, if a large percentage of my choir feels that they should not attend, then they will not be there. And therefore choir will be stopped. If we do curtail the liturgy, then I would officially stop choir. Interestingly, a significant percentage of my choir is made up of doctors and nurses.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    People who are likely to become severely ill by human contact/contagion aren't required to be at Mass. Sick people, people who might be sick, people who have any symptoms aren't under obligation. Cancelling Mass is insane - especially when it isn't being replaced. If our bishop suspends Sunday Mass (suspend the dailies all you want), I will be very much upset.

    Choirs shouldn't be meeting? Fine. For those priests who know the Latin Mass, why not implement Low Mass through the remainder of Lent? That will make those bells and organ on Holy Saturday as effective as they are supposed to be.

    When disaster strikes, the Church must step UP, not BACK!