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Easing of Liturgical Practices in Orange Setting

Below are extracts of a letter dated 20 May 2022 from Cardinal John. The full letter has been emailed to those who receive our newsletter and other parishioners can obtain a copy from the Parish Office, if they wish.

“Now that we have been in the orange setting of the Covid-19 traffic light framework for some weeks, I think we can relax some of the restrictions which have been in place for Masses and other gatherings in parishes.

These changes can take effect from next weekend 28-29 May:

  • Parishes may reintroduce singing. This should be in moderation as it remains an activity which can potentially spread the virus, especially if people are not wearing masks properly.
  • Other practices suspended for Covid 19 such as children’s liturgy, offertory procession, passing the collection basket, cup of tea after Mass can resume.
  • Communion can be taken to the sick… Masks are to be worn.
  • Mask-wearing at Mass is to be strongly encouraged and is even more important when there is singing.
  • Normal cleaning practices can be resumed in the church and gathering spaces.
  • Social distancing is not required but people should be sensitive to those around them.

These restrictions remain in place:

  • Communion under one kind and in the hand only;
  • contactless Sign of Peace;
  • no holy water in fonts;
  • masks must be worn by priest and ministers distributing communion.

With the number of Covid 19 cases having reached a plateau, and in some places increasing again, we must continue to be vigilant about precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. We need to manage the tension between returning to a more normal lifestyle and keeping the spread of the virus as low as possible.

We must also think about the elderly and immune-compromised who may feel unable to come to Mass if they feel it is not safe.

Last week the Bishops decided to retain the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation as there is still a lot of Covid-19 in the community.”

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