15 September 2022
Dear Fathers, Lay Pastoral Leaders, Leaders of Religious Congregations, School Principals
The government’s decision on Monday to end the COVID Protection Framework means that we can resume practices previously suspended.
- Communion under both kinds can take place.
- Communion on the tongue can now be provided. Please remind parishioners who receive communion on the tongue of the correct procedure, that they must put out their tongue not simply open their mouth. Priests and Ministers of the Eucharist should not have to put their fingers into the person’s mouth. People receiving communion on the tongue should preferably come up at the end of the line for hygiene reasons.
- There can be contact at the Sign of Peace. Parishioners should be sensitive to those who may want to simply acknowledge others rather than shaking hands.
- Masks are no longer required for priest and congregation during Mass. Parishes may choose whether they want people distributing communion to wear a mask.
- Holy water can be made available at the church door, refreshed regularly.
- When communion is being taken to the sick the ministers should still wear masks, as they will be in the presence of people who are ill or very elderly or both.
Please advise parishioners that the dispensation from the Sunday obligation is now removed. People whose health might be endangered by attending Mass or for whom attending Mass may be physically difficult should be reminded that they can make decisions about attending Mass based on their own safety and abilities.
Please continue to be vigilant about hygiene during Mass, continue to sanitize and take other sensible precautions to prevent the spread of illnesses, not just Covid. The restrictions we have lived with have been part of looking after one another and being sensitive to the needs of others in our communities. This may be a time of increased anxiety for some people, who may now be unsure about attending Mass without masks and other safeguards.
With good wishes and blessings
Yours sincerely in the Lord