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Archdiocese releases guidelines for Masses

As congregations return to places of worship, the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Committee of the Archdiocese has released ‘Guidelines for the Restoration of Masses in the Archdiocese’. These are intended to mitigate the risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is an increased risk of infection as restrictions are lifted, especially when we assemble in groups, so it behoves us all to act judiciously, both individually and collectively,” it stated.

The following are some recommendations contained in the Guidelines. The full document can be viewed at https://catholictt.org/hse/

  1. In the early days of reopening only 50 per cent of the maximum capacity (of each church) for each service; the number allowed will eventually increase to 75 per cent and then 100 per cent.
  2. Congregants must wash or sanitise their hands immediately before entering the church.
  3. Screening of all persons entering church buildings will be done, using contactless thermometers for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID-19; anyone with a temperature greater than 37.5°C will not be permitted to enter.
  4. The congregation must keep wearing masks while within the church in keeping with the guidelines and recommendations of the Ministry of Health.
  5. There will be vigilance in maintaining physical distancing with controlled seating arrangements and proper spacing when forming lines (6 feet apart); members of the same household can sit together.
  6. The collection will not be picked up ‘pew by pew’.
  7. The Sign of Peace will be omitted.
  8. No Communion from the chalice.
  9. The reception of Communion on the tongue is not allowed.
  10. Congregants are to process in single file (i.e. one line) to receive Holy Communion.
  11. Congregations leave the church row by row to avoid crowding the exits.
  12. Persons at a higher risk for severe COVID-19–older persons or those with underlying health conditions–are encouraged to stay at home; arrangements will be made for Holy Communion to be brought to their homes.
  13. As far as possible, special Masses for elderly persons will be scheduled to provide the option to this demographic to worship.
  14. Until further notice, attendance at Mass on any day of the week will fulfil the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
  15. Persons with flu-like symptoms should not attend any church ceremonies.
  16. No air-conditioning units will be used.


To be read before distribution of Holy Communion

– Communicants are now invited to receive Holy Communion

– Please wait patiently as a member of the Hospitality Team directs you from your pew to the Minister

– Just before you join the line, lower your mask away from your nose and mouth THEN sanitise your hands. You are welcome to use your own alcohol-based sanitiser or the one provided.

– Do not touch your face or mask again until after receiving Holy Communion

– When lining up, keep six feet behind the person ahead of you

– When standing opposite the Minister, maintain a six-foot distance when responding ‛Amen’ to the invocation

– To receive Holy Communion, extend your arms forward fully, with the elbows straight, left hand in the right hand with the palm flat

– Allow the Minister space enough to extend his/her arm toward you such that you are standing two arm’s lengths apart

– Receive Holy Communion in your palm then place it in your mouth

– You may now adjust your mask, to cover your nose and mouth, as you return to your seat along the designated aisle.

This information is available at https://catholictt.org/sign-up-for-mass/