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Catholic Church resumes public masses

03 October 2020

By The SUN 

As in recent past, only half of the seats in churches will be filled 

Sunday public masses in all Catholic churches will resume this coming Sunday, Oct. 4, after the government implemented further relaxation of social distancing measures. However, weekday masses started from yesterday, Oct 2.

However, only 50% of the normal capacity of the church will be filled. Other restrictions aimed at promoting public health and safety will also be put in place.

The Church’s move is likely to be replicated by other religious groups in the city, which has been gradually easing restrictions after the daily number of infections fell to a low two digits.

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According to an advisory issued in the name of the Chancellor, Rev. Lawrence Lee on Sept 30, the following measures will be enforced:

1)      Churches should be well ventilated and seats cleansed and disinfected regularly, with a disinfected carpet at the church entrance.

2)      The congregation should be limited to 50% of the normal capacity of the church.

3)      When entering the church compound, the faithful should put on a face mask, take body temperature and cleanse their hands with sanitizer. The use of holy water at the church entrance should be suspended.

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4)      Ushers should see to it that those inside the church keep adequate social-distancing.

5)      The use of liturgical booklets and hymnals should be suspended (projectors may be used instead).

6)      Sunday collections should be taken up after mass, with one or several donation boxes provided.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

7)      The sign of peace should be expressed by bowing heads, instead of shaking hands.

8)      For the time being, Holy Communion should be received only “in the hand”.  One’s hands should be sanitized before and after receiving Communion.

9)      Once the mass is concluded, the faithful should leave the church compound and avoid socializing.

10)  After mass, the seats in the church should be cleansed and disinfected.

Those attending mass should disinfect their hands before taking the holy communion

Parish priests are enjoined to observe a separate set of guidelines.

The advisory said attending Sunday mass is an obligation of the faithful. But while the pandemic is not yet completely contained, Cardinal John Tong, as a discretionary measure, permits the following alternatives to attending the Sunday Mass —

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a. Those who have worries that they might get infected by the pandemic if they come to church to attend the Sunday mass, may attend it online (and receive spiritual Communion) or perform some acts of devotion, such as reading the Bible, etc.

b. Since seating in churches is being restricted at present, one can attend mass on a weekday, instead of Sunday.

The above discretionary measure will be terminated once the pandemic is fully contained and the local situation is back to normal.  

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