Bishop of Kerry says small funerals will continue during COVID-19 pandemic

Bishop Ray Browne

The Bishop of Kerry has implemented new guidelines in response to the most recent COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the Government.

Funerals are to continue in the Diocese of Kerry, but only small numbers will be allowed to attend and social distancing guidelines will remain in place.

Over the weekend, the Bishop of Clogher postponed funerals until after the current public health crisis; the diocese covers part of Monaghan, Louth, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne says the work of the clergy and pastoral workers falls under the category of social care and he issued new guidelines to comply with the update restrictions.

In relation to funerals, they will continue with small numbers and social distancing guidelines will remain in place.

In cases whereby someone dies as a result of COVID-19, Bishop Ray Browne says priests need to be extremely careful regarding public health advice; he says to date, all such funerals have had liturgies in the cemetery only.

Meanwhile, Churches are to remain closed until April 12th and all clergy, religious, Diocesan and parish lay staff aged over 70 or who are vulnerable are asked to stay at home and cocoon in line with national guidelines.

Back-up services will be coordinated to offer support to those cocooning and ensure all their needs are met.

All baptisms and weddings in Kerry are postponed until further notice, but Masses will continue and where possible they will be streamed via the webcam. Priests who are cocooning are asked to celebrate Mass privately in their homes.