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June 9, 2020
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June 9, 2020

Cathedral reopens: Colour-coded cards to attend Mass

ANTIGUA

The Holy Family Cathedral, St John’s and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, Tyrells were re-opened for public worship last weekend (June 6–7), but all other churches remain closed until further notice, according to a pastoral statement signed by Bishop Robert Llanos of the Diocese of St John’s-Basseterre.

Churches and their worship stations in St Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands are already opened and will operate according to the civil regulations of their respective territories.

The regulations that govern the gathering of persons in an enclosed structure has meant the number of persons allowed for each Mass/Service is limited depending on the size of the worship space.

As a result, the number of Masses available on weekends will be increased accordingly and the times of Masses changed to accommodate the flow of persons in and out of the church. The statement said that weekday Masses are likely to resume from Wednesday, July 1.

In order for the churches to properly regulate the number of persons attending Mass, the diocese is introducing a colour-coding system for each Mass.

“This means that you can only enter the church for a specific Mass if you have the colour-coded card for that Mass time,” the statement said. The credit card-sized cards were distributed outside the Holy Family Cathedral church entrance June 3 to 5. This system will remain enforced until further notice.

Faithful were asked to take note of the following:

  • Persons attending Mass will be required to wear a mask throughout the celebration.
  • Persons must maintain the appropriate distance between each other at all times except those who live in the same household. Everyone else will be directed to a seat marked with a black tape which maintains the required distance between persons.
  • Everyone is required to sanitise their hands before entering the church and at the exit when leaving the church.
  • There must be no grouping or congregating of persons before, during or after Mass.
  • There must be no sharing of missals or hymn books.
  • The church building will be appropriately sanitised before and after each celebration.
  • Patience and understanding are asked during this period of adjustment.
  • Comply willingly with the instructions given by the ushers and members of the liturgical committee so that there will be a minimum disruption at celebrations.

The statement began with a message from Bishop Llanos stating that however terrible and destructive the COVID-19 pandemic may be to the world and our personal lives, it presents to us an opportunity to envision a new and different world in the future. What that future will be is entirely dependent on the choices we make now and our willingness to let God’s grace inform and direct that future, he said.

“Things would not be as before, and we ought not to demand that they should be lest we lose our opportunity for a New Life in Christ. As we come face-to-face with the changes that are going to happen let us do so,” he urged, “with a profound generosity of heart, openness and respect towards others and a willingness to make sacrifices for the good of everyone.”

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