Bishop welcomes resumption of small Masses
Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ has confirmed that Masses of up to 10 people are now permitted in South Australian churches.
“It is so refreshing for our faith and love of the Eucharist that we may once more participate in Mass,” said Bishop O’Kelly, who is also Bishop of Port Pirie Diocese.
“We have keenly felt the deprivation of the Eucharist.”
He said while weekday Masses would resume, because of the limit of 10 people Sunday Masses may be further delayed, according to the decision of the local parish.
“We are grateful for the patience and goodwill of the people and look forward to the blessings that will come upon us,” Bishop O’Kelly said.
Diocesan guidelines around the resumption of Mass with Holy Communion have been issued to clergy following approval from the Premier’s Department on Friday afternoon.
The guidelines are in line with national protocols released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference recently:
- Churches can open for private prayer, confessions and small Masses/services
- Weddings may have up to 10 guests in addition to the couple and the celebrant; funerals may have up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors; religious gatherings (Masses and other services) may have up to 10 attendees now and 20 from June 5.
- The four square metres per person rule is to be observed in determining the total numbers allowed in the space; once this number is reached the doors are to be closed.
- Except for families and household groups, people should be at least 1.5 metres apart. There should be no physical contact outside one’s family or household group. There should be no shaking of hands or holding hands during the Mass/service.
- Pews will be marked with 1.5 metre indicators.
- Every gathering must record contact details.
- Officials are to be on duty at all times churches are open to monitor and enforce these requirements.
- Hand sanitiser is to be available at church entrances.
Those parishioners who are at higher risk from COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home. Guidelines are also being developed for increased opportunities for Communion at home.
The maximum number allowed to attend Mass is expected to increase to 20 on June 5.
Guidelines Celebration Eucharist Distribution Holy Communion
UPDATED Bishops Conference Advice on COVID-19 20200515
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