PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The faithful will have to stay home on Palm Sunday, Bishop Thomas Tobin said in a YouTube video marking Holy Week, and keep their own personal vigil, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, as well as their counterparts in the Diocese of Fall River, on March 16 canceled all Masses for the near future as public gatherings of more than a few people are being banned by states and towns to stop the virus from spreading.
“The events of Holy Week will still be celebrated, but now in a more private way, in the quiet of empty churches,” Tobin said, adding that priests will be keeping their congregations in prayers and encouraging congregants to pray in turn for their priest.
Tobin encouraged Rhode Island Catholics to watch liturgies on television or in streaming video online, and to pray on their own.
“The doors of our churches may be bolted, but nothing can chain the word of God,” he added.
Earlier in the week, Tobin made a request to churches throughout the diocese to ring their bells for five minutes on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. as a sign of solidarity, faith and unity.
Coronavirus: Coverage and Resources
What’s Open in RI & Mass. | Latest Headlines | En Español: 12 Informa | COVID-19 Tracking: Maps, Charts, Interactive Data | Projection Models | Support Groups | Senior Shopping Hours | CDC Resources | RI Health Department | MA Health Department
RI Coronavirus Hotline: (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465
Coronavirus: Latest Headlines
- RI dance studio owners unsure how they can safely reopen under new state guidelines
- As churches reopen, Attleboro pastor to meet parishioners for first time
- Pandemic costs RI tourism industry millions of dollars
- 78 more COVID-19 deaths in Mass.; Baker releases new guidelines for restaurants, lodging
- Información de coronavirus para el viernes, 29 de Mayo