“Simply bow down”: Locations of worship in Edmonton search to comprise the unfold of COVID-19

EDMONTON – Places of worship across Edmonton are changing procedures to limit contact in response to the spread of COVID-19.

In the St. Joseph Basilica, prayers for those affected by the virus were made on Wednesday, more hand disinfectants were made available and the fountain was drained with holy water as a blessing.

Parishioners were also asked to avoid shaking hands, which is usually performed in Catholic masses as a sign of peace.

“We have asked our communities and those who feel vulnerable not to give a peace sign,” said Paul Kavanagh, Church Rector.

“We ask people to just offer a bow.”

On Wednesday, Archbishop Smith of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton urged all parishes to stop serving the Blood of Christ.

Similarly, the Al-Rashid Mosque in North Edmonton is also changing some of its practices to accommodate medical advice.

“We are distributing a lot more hand sanitizer in the mosque, handing out flyers and reminding people to read the guidelines,” said Noor Al-Henedy of the mosque.

“Fridays we have a large number. If God forbid someone is not feeling well and they are here, there is a great risk.”

The Beth Israel Synagogue in West Edmonton also advises against shaking hands in favor of more hand washing and the use of disinfectants.

“We just want to remind people to stay calm and balanced and not to go overboard,” said Rabbi Zolly Claman.

With files from Nicole Weisberg

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