Coronavirus & Public Worship


On 18th March, the Bishops of England and Wales made the following statement: “In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.”

REVISED OPENING HOURS: Here at the Rosary Shrine, we know that Our Lady is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope”, our consolation and mother particularly in our time of need. So, the church will remain open everyday (Monday– Sunday) from 8:30am – 4pm for private and individual prayer. All other scheduled events, such as daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Processions, Rosary prayer groups, and catechesis are currently suspended.

SOCIAL DISTANCING IN CHURCH: Please come in during these hours to light a candle before the images of the Saints, pray the Rosary to Our Lady in one of the many Rosary chapels and altars, or, most importantly, to sit in the real presence of Our Lord Jesus who is here for us in the tabernacle.

When you are in the church during opening hours, please observe social distancing: you must be at least 6 feet apart from the next person, and regrettably there can be no communal or group prayers in the church.

MASSES: The Priests at St Dominic’s will continue to celebrate private Masses every day, for the good of the whole Church, for our parish, and for the salvation of our world at this time of uncertainty and difficulty. The world is especially in need of the graces and mercy of God at this time, which is why Masses have not been stopped. Rather, only the public celebration of Mass, which would cause people to gather in church in numbers, are not permitted. However, rest assured that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered unceasingly throughout the world.

The Bishops say: “Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day”.

In particular any Mass intentions you have sent into our parish office will be honoured. Unfortunately, you will not be able to be physically present in the church for any Mass; all Masses will be celebrated by the priest alone. The Bishops, in accordance with Canon Law, have thus dispensed all Catholics from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays during these emergency circumstances. Nevertheless, Sunday is still the Lord’s day, and God’s commandment to keep Sundays holy remains. So, for example, be sure to read the Mass readings for the day, watch a livestreamed or televised Mass (see below), and pray the Rosary. The arrangements for Holy Week are being reviewed by the Bishops, and we will be informed in due course.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION: In these difficult times, then, we invite you to be united with us in prayer from your own homes: you can watch a Mass live online as celebrated in Walsingham, or recorded on YouTube. When you watch the Mass online, make an act of Spiritual Communion. In this manner, you can receive the graces of Christ and have a genuine union with God through charity, for Jesus comes to us with his blessings and grace in these extraordinary means during these extraordinary times until we can once more safely gather again for the Holy Mass in our church.

CONFESSION & SICK CALLS: The Sacrament of Confession will be available on Saturdays from 10:30am, or on call. The Sacrament of the Sick will be administered in emergency situations on request.

PRAYING TOGETHER ONLINE: If you can, please stay in contact via our Facebook page. We hope to put up homilies, spiritual readings, and videos that will help us grow together in faith, hope, and love during this unusually hard season of Lent.

Coronavirus & Public Worship

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