March 17, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diane Clay, Director of Communications
Archbishop Coakley suspends Mass through Easter Sunday
OKLAHOMA CITY – Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, has suspended public Mass in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City through Easter Sunday, April 12, as a precaution to protect at-risk parishioners and to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
"I know this will be difficult for many of us, especially our priests for whom the Mass and the Eucharist are the very center of our lives. Due to the continued rapid spread of COVID-19, we must take further steps to protect the community and our most at-risk parishioners, so everyone can remain safe during this health crisis.
During this perilous time, I and all of our priests will continue to celebrate daily Mass and pray for your intentions, for the needs of the whole Church and for all those affected by the virus around the world.
This season of Lent is a time for prayer, fasting and works of mercy. COVID-19 casts a new light on how we are being invited to pray, fast and practice mercy. I urge you to dedicate yourselves to prayer with deep faith and perseverance. Pray for yourselves and pray for others. I recommend to you the beautiful prayer of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet as well as spending time praying with the Church's daily readings for the Mass even though we cannot attend Mass in person. Make visits and spend time in prayer before the Lord who is present in the tabernacle.
Be assured, we will get through this together, relying on the riches of our Catholic faith and our trust in the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. You and your loved ones are in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you safe. Blessed Stanley Rother, pray for us."
Archbishop Coakley, pastors and chancery staff, in coordination with health officials, will continue to monitor the situation and make further provisions as needed.
Archbishop Coakley has implemented the following temporary precautions for churches in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City through April 12:
- All public Masses and liturgies, i.e. Stations of the Cross and Penance Rites, are cancelled through Easter Sunday;
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance may continue as long it is behind a screen;
- The Chrism Mass will be closed to the public;
- Holy Water fonts should be emptied for the duration of the Lenten Season;
- Avoid physical contact;
- All should cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or use the inside of the elbow;
- Social distancing should be practiced;
- Avoid, cancel or postpone non-essential events and meetings.
Find more information and updated resources at archokc.org/health