Diocese of Parramatta update on the coronavirus

3 December 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Re: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

NSW Health has revised the COVID-19 guidelines for places of worship effective from 7 December 2020.

1. Places of Worship and Religious Services

The maximum number of people at places of worship and religious services will only be limited by the 2 square metre rule. If a place of public worship has separate buildings, the maximum number of people in each separate building is subject to the 2 square metre rule. If there are separate buildings, each building should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

2. Weddings and Funerals

There will be no upper cap on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals, provided the new 2 square metre rule is adhered to.

3. Choir and Congregational Singing

Up to 50 singers/performers will be permitted to sing indoors. There will be no maximum cap for outdoor singing. Congregations may sing, but NSW Health continues to ask that anyone 12 years or older to wear a mask.

Communion on the tongue

NSW Health advised for places of worship to please consider modifying religious services, where practical, such as Communion, to avoid direct contact with the hand and mouth.

If parishioners would like to receive Communion on the tongue, this is to be done only after everyone else have received Communion on the hand. Only the priest will distribute Communion on the tongue. The extraordinary ministers who usually assist with giving Communion to parishioners will only be doing so on the hand.

The parish priest will be extra careful in placing Communion on the tongue to ensure physical contact is not made. It is at the discretion of the priest celebrating Mass, conscious of the advice from NSW Public Health, as to whether or not he chooses to recommence Communion on the tongue.

With my prayers during these troubling times,

Very Rev Peter G. Williams 
Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia

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