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Tucson Catholics cancel Sunday mass during Lent over coronavirus

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Tucson Catholics cancel Sunday mass during Lent over coronavirus

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The Bishop of Tucson has called off church services, including Sunday mass, until at least April 6, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

No public mass services will be held after Monday, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger announced.

"The Sunday mass obligation is dispensed for all Catholic people residing in or visiting the territory of the Diocese of Tucson," he said Monday. "Catholics are urged to observe Sunday in accord with our teachings, which may include spending additional time on Sunday in prayer, observing a Catholic mass via television or internet, or other pious practices."

"Confirmations scheduled during this time period are suspended and will be rescheduled," he said.

From the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Southern Arizona:

There are to be no public Church events or gatherings, such as parish religious education programs, Stations of the Cross, Communion services, Quinceaneras, parish missions, dinners, etc.

Mass of the Holy Oils, "Chrism Mass," will be celebrated privately with Holy Oils to be distributed privately to priests

Weddings should be restricted to 10 persons, and if Mass is celebrated only the bride and groom, if Catholic, are to receive Holy Communion

Funeral Masses should be restricted to 10 persons, and the congregation should not receive Holy Communion

I believe these directives, while a hardship and deeply regrettable for us all, are sensible, substantially consistent with directives for the other Catholic diocese in Arizona, and in line with the spirit of public health directives.

"These directives are motivated by an abundance of care and concern for our people as well as the greater community, and are substantially consistent with the directives of the Diocese of Phoenix and the Diocese of Gallup—all of which have Catholic parishes in the State of Arizona," he said.

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