The following is an extract from the ad clerum letter issued this evening by his Lordship Bishop Robson, to the clergy of the diocese:
Dear Rev Father,
Most of you will have heard the Prime Minister and the First Minister in the recent Broadcasts on TV and Radio this evening.
We must all ensure from now the complete closure of our churches until further notice. Masses can and must continue in private. Where streaming of Mass is possible, well and good, but our places of worship must close for private prayer and for baptisms, confessions and devotions. The suspension of Confirmations and First Holy Communions have already been announced.
Funerals can proceed with due care from either the Crematorium or the graveside, but not from the Church. They must be all but private. A private Mass may be offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased around the time of the death with a family requiem Mass offered once the crisis is over. A date cannot be set for this until government clearance is given…
End of life and emergency calls will still be required for the administration of the sacrament of the sick and viaticum. Please be very careful and observe all necessary health and hygiene requirements for your own safety.
The events we are living through are unprecedented. Each of us is still in shock. We must all keep as safe as possible and not take unnecessary risks to our own health.
It goes without saying that personal prayer and our daily private Holy Mass needs to be at the heart of our daily work as priests.
Let us pray also for each other and for all of our dear parishioners… these measures to ensure social and physical isolation are all necessary to halt the progress of this terrible Coronavirus scourge.
With every blessing to you all,
+ Stephen Robson
Bishop of Dunkeld