(New York, NY)  In light of the serious health risks to vulnerable populations, and mindful of the instructions of medical professionals, the Archdiocese of New York has urged the faithful to use their prudential judgment on whether or not to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days during the coronavirus outbreak. This is in keeping with the teaching of the Church, which has always exempted those with serious medical issues which would prohibit them from attending Mass, as well as for all people in times of general emergencies.  This is especially true during this coronavirus outbreak, particularly for adults over the age of 60, people with underlying medical conditions, and family members of such individuals, who should take special care in discerning the best course of action. 

At this time, while Mass will continue to be offered publicly in most cases, contingent on emergency restrictions regarding large gatherings.  Those who do attend Mass are reminded that they should follow the guidelines in place, such as receiving Holy Communion reverently in the hand, not receiving the Precious Blood, being sure to wash hands/use sanitizer before and after Mass, and avoiding physical contact with or close proximity to other persons. 

Those who are unable to attend Mass can follow the Mass on radio, television, or online where possible.  Mass from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral will be broadcast and available on many cable systems via the Catholic Faith Network and its website at www.catholicfaithnetwork.org, livestreamed on the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral website at www.saintpatrickscathedral.org/live, and broadcast on radio on The Catholic Channel of Sirius XM (Channel 129). 

All are urged to keep in prayer those who are suffering from the coronavirus, as well as for doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those who are working to combat the disease.

The following prayer will be shared with the parishes and people of the archdiocese.

Prayer to the Virgin Mary for Protection

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,

with steadfast faith.

You, Our Lady of New York, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that,

as you did at Cana of Galilee,

joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the Father’s will

and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,

through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

About the author: Archdiocese of New York’s Communications Department

[March 14, 2020]