Return To Mass and the Sacraments

Return To Mass and the Sacraments


Due to Covid 19 our country, we have seen many changes in the last 3 months. One that has affected so much of our population has been the suspension of weekly mass. From Monday 29th June we can return to weekday masses in our churches, and from the 4th July, we will return to Sunday Mass. But for the moment not in the way we once knew it.
Fr Liam and the Parish Pastoral Council have drafted guidelines to help ensure the safety of our congregations, readers, Eucharist ministers and our priest.
Please note that the dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation is extended for the time being.

With the current social distancing restrictions, the maximum number of people applies in our churches
50 people are allowed in Kilmanagh Church.
50 in Killaloe
 80 in Ballycallan (Subject to further distancing measures)

The following guidelines will be implemented in Phase 1.

Entering the church:
  • Hand sanitisers will be in place at the entrance way for everyone to use
  • Face masks may be worn at the discretion of the wearer.
  • Doors will be left open until mass begins and opened again once mass ends to improve ventilation and reduce contact with door handles. 
  • There will be stewards in each church to seat the congregation. We would ask that you respect these stewards as they only have the best interests of all present in mind.
  • People will be seated as they arrive to the church.  Rows have been closed off in all 3 of our churches.
  • Where possible families who are already within each other’s circles will be asked to sit together as this allows for more people per row. 
  • Other than families only 3 people will be placed in a seat to ensure social distancing (2 per seat in Killaloe).
Communion Time:
  • There will be no offertory procession.
  • Eucharistic Ministers will sanitise their hands and wear face masks while they distribute the Eucharist.
  • The congregation will be asked to come to the altar row by row. Stewards will assist with this. There are markings in place on the aisles.
  • Those who receive the sacrament of communion in their seat will be asked to sit at the front of the church to prevent Eucharistic ministers reaching over other members of the congregation or other members of the congregation climbing back in over them on their return from communion.
  • Communion can only be received in the hand.
  • A Eucharistic minister will go to the Gallery area (Killaloe & Ballycallan) to give communion.
Church Collections:
Secure boxes have been placed in churches for people to leave their envelopes. Where a person does not use the weekly envelope, it is still possible to place loose change in these boxes, but also you may place your contribution in an envelope.

Other points of interest:
The pastoral council understand that some changes may cause distress to families, decisions have been made with the interest of the wider community in mind.

  • Due to severely restricted numbers in our churches, individual anniversaries at weekend Masses will be suspended for the time being. This is due to the uncertain numbers who would be attending these anniversaries, and it would be impossible to accommodate everyone safely. Anniversaries will be noted that weekend and prayed for, and should a family require an individual Mass, this can be arranged for a weekday Mass instead.  This can be discussed with Fr Liam.
  • There will be no servers at mass for the time being.
  • Toilet facilities will continue to be available at our 3 churches.
  • Holy water fonts will be left empty.
  • Choirs will be reduced to a single musician and 1-2 singers maximum as long as social distancing can be maintained. 
  • Cleaning / sanitising of the churches will take place weekly and before each mass.
  • Provision will be made for those with disabilities in each church with special seating areas provided.  If you are aware of a relative who will be attending mass and is wheelchair bound or needs special assistance, please let Fr. Liam or any of the sacristans know at least a day in advance.
Outside the church:
Please adhere to social distancing regulations outside the church also.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Liam or any member of the Parish Pastoral Council. Thank you for your co-operation.

NB. Vulnerable people, and those with serious underlying health conditions should continue to stay home.