Can I visit a church for private prayer?
Yes, churches in NSW are open, with up to 300 people allowed inside churches at any one time, providing the four square metre rule is observed.
Can I attend Mass in the Church?
Yes. Up to 300 people can attend Church Masses under the four-square-metre rule. 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 now that churches are open but only small numbers are permitted?
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. Bishops and priests can still say Mass privately.
Sunday observance and alternative devotions.
All but priests continue for the time being to be dispensed from attending Sunday Mass, but those who are at low risk of infection and able to do so are exhorted to take all reasonable steps to attend Sunday Mass. If you are unable to attend, you can keep Sunday holy by 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. Priests should celebrate daily Mass privately and offer it on behalf of those who cannot attend and for the whole nation.
Should I wear a mask at Mass?
Parishioners are advised to wear masks at Mass. Clergy are also asked to wear masks when meeting people before and after Mass, while distributing Holy Communion and while administering other sacraments.
Can baptisms be performed?
Up to 300 people are allowed to attend baptisms under the four-square-metre rule.
How many people are allowed to attend an outdoor Mass?
From 1 December, up to 500 people are allowed to attend an outdoor Mass, subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule, if each person is assigned a seat or the four square metre rule for informal seating in open areas.
What about weddings?
From 1 December, up to 300 people can attend church weddings, subject to the 4 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 1 December, up to 300 people are allowed to attend a funeral Mass, following the four square metre rule. For funerals before 1 December, up to 150 people are allowed to attend a funeral Mass, allowing for the four 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, subject to the four square metre rule with up to 300 people allowed to attend.