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Coronavirus: Churches closed, masses suspended until May in London, Ont.

Sask. government defends move to elimination reference to Sunday as a day of rest.
. File / Global News

Churches are shutting down in London amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the Diocese of London announced effective immediately, all masses and services, including missions and devotions, will be suspended at least until April 30.

All churches in the city are also closed until then.

In addition, the diocese says funeral masses and luncheons are not permitted. The Rite of Committal may be celebrated at the cemetery with immediate family members present.

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

Scheduled weddings are recommended to be delayed, or proceed with limited guests, up to the number of people allowed at a gathering as determined by the local health officials.

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Baptisms are postponed, parish offices are closed to the public, and all regular meetings and social activities in parishes are cancelled.

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The diocese says celebrations of first confession, first communion and confirmation will proceed when dangers of the virus have passed.

All confessions are cancelled, except in the case of danger of death, and the Day of Confessions is cancelled.

For Easter, there will be no service on Friday of the Passion of the Lord.

The Easter Vigil is also cancelled, and the Mass of Easter Sunday will be celebrated privately by priests on Easter morning.

The announcement comes as 23 more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed provincially.