Can I attend Mass in the Church?
Yes. From Friday 12 February, unlimited numbers of people can attend Mass providing a two square metre rule is observed. Churches are required to keep records of all attending Masses for contact tracing purposes. You will need to contact your individual parish to register your attendance.
Where can I watch Mass if I am still unable to attend in person because of the COVID-19 restrictions?
St Mary’s Cathedral will continue to live-stream the 10:30am Solemn Mass every Sunday while the restrictions continue as well as various other services throughout the week. Check the website for regular updates. https://www.stmaryscathedral.org.au/ Mass For You at Home is broadcast on Channel 10 each Sunday from 6am. There are several live-streaming services for daily Mass both locally and from around the English-speaking world.
Sunday Observances and alternative devotions
With the return of a two square metre rule from Friday 12 February, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has lifted the dispensation from our Sunday Mass obligation and all Catholics are now obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation when this is reasonably possible. If restrictions are tightened again and attendance at places of worship is limited to one person per 4 square metres, the dispensation will once again be in place. The elderly, those with health conditions or are otherwise anxious about the risks of COVID-19 are free to remain at home and find another way of keeping the Sabbath holy. This could involve setting aside some time for prayer at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online and asking God for the graces you would normally receive in Holy Communion.
Should I wear a mask at Mass?
From 12 February, it will no longer be compulsory to wear a face mask at Mass, however, it is still strongly encouraged.
Do I need to register electronically to enter a church?
The COVID Safe Plan for Places of Worship strongly encourages electronic collection. Many parishes are doing this by online registration for Masses rather than a QR code and can continue to do so. Parishes may keep paper records, but must then transfer this data across into an electronic format within 12 hours.
Can I sing at Mass?
Congregational singing is permitted at Masses, if people wear face masks and observe a four square metre rule.
Can baptisms be performed?
From 12 February, up to 300 people are allowed to attend baptisms under the two-square-metre rule.
What about weddings?
From 12 February, up to 300 people can attend church weddings, subject to the two square metre rule. Clergy are not included in this figure.
Am I able to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Yes. First Rite Confessions can be celebrated in the church.
What if a loved one dies? Can I still have a funeral Mass?
From 12 February, up to 300 people can attend a funeral Mass, following the two square metre rule.
How about the Anointing of the Sick?
Pastoral care of the sick, frail and elderly should as far as possible be undertaken by clergy. Our priests must follow the guidance of health care facilities, some of which may only allow their own chaplains to minister to those with COVID-19 since they receive intensive training regarding safety protocols. When anointing the sick, priests have been given permission to lay on hands above rather than upon the head to anoint and use a cotton wool ball, cotton bud or a protective glove which can be disposed of after a single use.
What if my child is scheduled to receive First Communion and Confirmation during this time?
Many parishes have resumed these celebrations, with up to 300 people allowed to attend, following a two square metre rule.