Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, March 13, 2020 Re: COVID-19, from Bishop David Edwards
In light of COVID-19 having been declared a pandemic, and with one case identified in New Brunswick, I believe further measures have to be put in place to assure the health and safety of everyone in the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton.
Although there is no evidence to suggest that illnesses such as influenza have been transmitted due to the use of the Common Cup, there is no definitive information about how COVID-19 is transmitted. In consequence I am adding to my previous directive.
• To that end and in line with others in the Province of Canada, the common cup will be withdrawn immediately during Holy Communion. The celebrant will consecrate a cup of wine and leave it on the altar/table during the administration of the bread, after which the celebrant consumes the wine. Communion is offered in one kind only to all communicants – i.e. consecrated bread only, with the priest alone consuming the wine. Intinction should not happen under any circumstances at present.
Anglican sacramental theology has taught that the fullness of the sacrament is present in each element; therefore receiving the consecrated bread is receiving Communion.
• The provincial Department of Health is recommending several guidelines for event planning. Clergy and lay leaders have been urged to read and apply those guidelines according to their parish situations. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2020.03.0114.html
Some of the recommendations are to avoid physical contact (for example, when Passing the Peace), and to cancel gatherings of more than 150 people.
I have asked clergy and lay leaders to educate themselves about the measures being suggested and implement those relevant to the situations immediately to ensure parishioners remain safe and healthy.
I have also suggested these measures be announced during services so all are aware of the precautions. Please see other links below for further information on COVID-19.
Again, let us pray for those affected and their circle of family, friends and co-workers; for the caregivers, health professionals and researchers; and for our diocese.
PRAYER Gracious God thank you that you are over all, in all and through all. We lift our world before you as we face the advent of the COVID-19 virus. We pray for those who are suffering its effects, the medical personnel who are caring for them and those who are seeking a vaccine or cure. We are grateful for the lives of people who have died and pray for their families and friends in their bereavement. We ask that you enable us to know your love for all and give us your peace which passes all understanding. In the name of Christ. Amen.
Federal risk assessment for mass gathering planning.
Current COVID-19 information from the province.