In light of the newest restrictions, lock-down and state of emergency declared by the Premier of Ontario, we are once again forced to curtail services offered in our churches. While we long for a return to fuller celebrations of our faith, we recognize the need to be vigilant and to care for the common good, so that we can be doing all in our power to stem the tide of the virus.
The following directives come into effect on Thursday, 14 January, until further notice.
1. Celebrations in Churches
Churches are once again to be closed to the public except for Wedding services and Funeral services. In both cases, no celebration of the Mass is allowed, but only a Liturgy of the Word. Ten people only are allowed to be present, which includes the presider.
There are to be no public Masses. Parishes are encouraged, if possible, to record or livestream Masses for their parishioners. Only those required to produce the recording or livestreaming may be present: priest-presider, deacon, reader, two musicians (instrumentalist and cantor), and a recording technician if necessary. No other persons are permitted to attend in person. Face masks must always be worn by all during the recording or livestreaming, including the priest, except for receiving Holy Communion.
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated only in cases of danger of death. Confessions may be heard by appointment only.
2. Offices and Church Buildings
Only essential work that cannot be done outside of the workplace is allowed to take place in offices or church buildings. Staff must have permission from their supervisor before entering an office or church building. All other work is expected to be done from home.
3. Safety Measures
All of the above implies the necessary vigilance is in place, in following prescribed and mandatory safety measures, including hand sanitization, use of personal protective equipment (e.g., masks), and self-screening procedures before coming onto church property.
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B.
Bishop of London