Can I attend Mass in the Church?
Yes. From Sunday 3 January, up to 100 people can attend Mass providing a four 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
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has issued a dispensation to the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and on Christmas Day; this dispensation will continue until the two square metre rule returns or limits are removed altogether. Those unable to attend Mass in person are asked to find another way of keeping the Sunday Sabbath or observing a holy day such as Christmas. 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 Sunday 3 January, it is a NSW Health requirement that anyone attending a church must wear a face mask. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this rule, but are encouraged to wear face masks where practicable.
From Monday 4 January, NSW Health can impose a $200 fine on each individual failing to abide by this rule.
Clergy are also asked to wear masks when meeting people before and after Mass, while distributing Holy Communion and while administering other sacraments.
Do I need to bring my mobile phone to register to enter a church?
Yes. QR codes are now compulsory for churches. All attendees must register with a QR code and parishes should have a marshall to verify a person’s successful QR registration.
Can I sing at Mass?
Congregational singing is currently not permitted at indoor Masses.
Choirs of up to five people are allowed to sing indoors. They should face forwards and not towards each other, have physical distancing of 1.5 metres between each other and any other performers and be 5 metres from all other people including members of the congregation, where practical.
Can baptisms be performed?
From 3 January, up to 100 people are allowed to attend baptisms under the four-square-metre rule.
What about weddings?
From 3 January, up to 100 people can attend church weddings, subject to the four 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 3 January, up to 100 people can attend a funeral Mass, following 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, with up to 100 people allowed to attend, following a four square metre rule.