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Come all ye faithful...COVID style

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Christmas Mass-goers are being urged to check with their local parish about times and details of services due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on attendance limits and safety protocols.

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With the current limit on indoor religious services at one person per four square metre, parishes and migrant communities have been encouraging worshippers to book for Sunday Mass and arrive early to sign in.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan said it was important for anyone wanting to attend Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to plan ahead and ensure they were complying with the latest SA health guidelines.

“While we would love to see as many people as possible celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, we are also conscious of the need to keep our communities as safe as possible and prevent the spread of COVID,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

Outdoor and large temporary Mass venues, live streaming and scheduling of more services are options under consideration by some parishes, depending on the level of restrictions imposed for the Christmas period.

Midnight Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral will be replayed on Channel 44 at 11am on Christmas Day.

From December 1, parishes and communities received a new COVID-Safe plan that included a QR code to print off and display. Those parishioners without access to the QR code are required to sign in manually for contact tracing purposes.

This is in addition to other provisions such as hand sanitising, no group singing, socially distancing and no congregating in church foyers.

Archbishop O’Regan thanked clergy, parish pastoral teams and volunteers including COVID Safe marshals for their tireless efforts in implementing preventative and tracing measures.

“I am extremely grateful for their willingness to work together as communities to respond to this highly infectious virus and to ensure people can still practice their faith within the necessary limitations,” he said.

Archbishop O’Regan also ex-pressed his thanks for the generosity of parishioners in continuing to contribute to collections and special appeals, albeit in different ways to minimise handling of cash.

A new method of online giving enabling parishioners to donate via their mobile phone has proved popular with more than $73,000 of recurring donations set up to date.

Andrea Fairlie

The ‘Good Giving’ feature on the Archdiocesan Find a Mass App allows donations to be made within seconds.

Andrea Fairlie moved from the Riverland to Adelaide earlier this year and has been attending a number of different churches.

“The app allows me to quickly and easily donate to collections,” Andrea said.

“It only took a couple of minutes to download the app and start using it. Now that my card details are saved, it only takes a few seconds to donate each week. I also often use its other features to find Mass times and look up the daily readings.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I don’t carry around cash as often. So the app suits me perfectly as I can donate cash-free each week to both the first and second collection, and to any special collections, and donate to the parish I’m attending that week.”

For Christmas Mass times and details, visit www.adelaide.catholic.org.au or download the Adelaide Archdiocese app.

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