January 8, 2022- Washington, DC [OCNN] Today, Archbishop Michael Seneco, Presiding Bishop, issued instructions to the whole denomination immediately suspending public liturgical celebrations due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in the United States.
This move was in part due to the COVID positivity of one of the denomination’s clerics in the Dallas, TX area. His infection was discovered the day after he had performed several “chalking of the door” prayers as is the custom on the Feast of the Epiphany. Although these blessings occur outside, and all who participated wore masks and kept socially distanced as recommended by the Centers of Disease Control, all participants have been notified by the local church out of an abundance of caution.
The archbishop stated, “According to data from the Mayo Clinic, the federal COVID positivity rate is 24%. In some states where we have ministries operating, the positivity rate is significantly higher. We must and always protect the lives, health and souls of our faithful.”
Ministries will begin to transition to offering Mass online through their websites and social media. Other sacraments, such as baptisms, confession, and Last Rites to the dying will be addressed on a case-by-case basis with strict controls in attendance and best practices to reduce transmission as recommended by the CDC.