Derry, Northern Ireland, Mar 25, 2021 / 18:01 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Diocese of Derry has announced that First Communions, customarily held in spring, will be postponed so as to discourage associated parties and other social gatherings.
The Derry diocese, whose see is in Northern Ireland but which extends into the Republic Ireland, has announced that the sacrament will be delayed until September.
Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry said that while parties have no strict correlation to the sacrament, First Communion is often followed by celebratory gatherings.
"I am concerned about the parties and other socialising which, although completely disconnected from the celebration of the sacraments and the environs of the church, can and often do occur," he wrote in a letter to his presbyterate.
“It must also be recognised that such parties and socialising are a matter for the civil authorities and, indeed, are currently banned under civil COVID regulations; it is for the civil authorities to enforce civil laws,” he said.