COVID-19

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

NEW EPARCHIAL DIRECTIVES

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Bishop David Motiuk

Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton

Reverend Clergy,

Glory be to Jesus Christ!

The Government of Alberta updated its COVID-19 restrictions as of November 24, which are in place for at least the next three weeks.

Faith communities are often significant aspects of people’s lives and include intimate and close contact between members. This measure will help limit exposure at these activities, reducing outbreaks and protecting vulnerable members who attend.

Regarding places of worship, the new measures include: In areas of enhanced status, for example Calgary and Edmonton (enhanced status purple areas), a maximum of 1/3 normal attendance and held at normal location, including rental spaces like a community hall.

In the Calgary and Edmonton areas, masks are mandatory, unless you have a medical exemption. Those choosing not to wear a mask will not be permitted to enter the church for the safety of other parishioners. In some other areas, masks are also mandatory according to local bylaw. For all other areas, masks are recommended.

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NOTE (Nov. 27th clarification): Those who are not able to wear a mask for medical reasons can be exempt from this regulation. Pastors are asked to ensure that volunteers are not policing people. If there is an instance in which someone is not wearing a mask or refuses to wear one, volunteers should refer this matter to the Pastor, and the Pastor should address the issue with delicacy, discretion and gentleness” (Instructions for Greeters and Volunteers, Roman Catholic Bishops of Alberta).

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For all areas throughout the entire Province of Alberta:

  • Two-metre physical distancing between households must be maintained.
  • Hand-sanitizing at entrance/exit to church is required.
  • The faithful are required to sign-in upon entry for tracking purposes should someone present as COVID-19 positive.
  • Ushers are to remind the faithful of the above requirements.
  • Recited liturgies are encouraged. Where singing is practiced, no congregational singing. Rather, a cantor may lead the responses, while the faithful remain prayerfully silent.
  • Online liturgical services are encouraged.
  • In-person faith group meetings can continue but physical distancing and public health measures must be followed.
  • Receptions are not permitted.
  • Maximum of 10 people for weddings, funerals, and baptisms.
    • This includes the officiant, bride/groom, and witnesses
    • This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
    • This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
    • This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated, or non-seated.

Kindly include these reminders in your parish-bulletins and websites. It will also be helpful to announce the pertinent measures at the beginning of each liturgical service, especially with the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord approaching, with some of our faithful in attendance who may not be familiar with the practices during the pandemic.

My prayers are with you and your faithful as we journey through Saint Philip’s Fast, preparing ourselves for the birth of our Lord.

God bless,

Bishop David