The Bishop

Ajaccio, Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Dear brothers priests and deacons,
Let me first wish you a happy feast of St. Joseph! After celebrating Our Lady of Mercy yesterday, we give thanks to God for St. Joseph, the faithful husband who welcomed God's unforeseen events with docility.
The Covid-19 crisis is growing.

We need to be up to the task. Here's the latest update on the guidelines.
Additional instructions as of March 19.
Regarding the funeral:
The instructions of March 16 are still valid. A simple celebration at the cemetery should be preferred and funerals should be held only in the presence of the family. Even outside, ask people to stay away from each other. When there is an ordeal, plan the prayer time nearby. Only the celebrant blesses the tomb (do not pass a pin). For this celebration at the cemetery, one can refer to the pastoral guide In Christian Hope, No. 348sv, or to the Funeral Ritual, Vol. II: Prayers for the deceased at home and in the cemetery.
Upstream, the link with the family, will be done by phone, skype or other equivalent means.
When there is a funeral team made up of lay people, it is desirable to exempt them from this service, especially if they are elderly. As for the presidency of the celebration, here is what the CEF recommends:
"Presidency: It is desirable that it be provided, as much as possible, by the parish priest or a priest. In this ordeal it is they, the pastors, who must be on the front line at the service of the community of the faithful in the trial. If no priest is available, a lay person who has received a mission letter, is under 70 years of age and of course will be called upon. »
In this time of crisis, caregivers give us an uplifting testimony. We who have dedicated our lives to the Lord and to those to whom we are sent are also, in our own way, caregivers. I hope that we will be able to give a testimony that lives up to our vocation. We do not have to discard the Funeral Pumps to show our hope to those who are in the ordeal. If elderly or frail priests or deacons do not wish to render this service, understandably, I count on the deans to organize accordingly.
Initiative for the solemnity of the Lord's Annunciation.
A national initiative was taken for 25 March. I put the text in attachment (under Word and PDF) and invite you to make this proposal known. It is a beautiful way to manifest our communion and hope in this time of crisis.
Regarding the sacrament of the sick, the CEF gives us its details:
Canon 1000, 2 provides that, in celebration of the sacrament of the sick, the anointing of oil can be made not with the thumb but with an instrument, such as a stylus or a needle. See Roger van der Weyden, Triptych of the 7 Sacraments:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Seven_Sacraments_Rogier.jpg
Catechumens and sacraments of initiation
It is envisaged to postpone the sacraments of initiation to the Easter season. Details will be provided shortly.
24 hours for the Lord
I leave it to everyone to take the initiatives they deem appropriate to ensure this special time of prayer while respecting the health measures given to us.

May Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph watch over us and free us from all danger.
With the assurance of my fraternal prayer.