#36 UPDATE: GENERAL LITURGICAL GUIDELINES COVID-19 Implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Information Updated: 17 June 2021, 12:00pm

https://melbournecatholic.org/uploads/documents/36-17June21-UPDATE-COVID_19-GENERAL-LITURGICAL-GUIDELINES.pdf

Information updated 17 June 2021, 12pm

The following Guidelines are approved by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restrictions in place are compulsory as issued under lawful direction of the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, where a State of Emergency remains in place until 16 December 2021.

As of 11:59pm Thursday 17 June 2021, the following measures will apply across Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria until otherwise advised.

Metropolitan Melbourne

Face Coverings

  • Must be carried at all times.
  • Must be worn indoors (except if at home) and outdoors, unless an exception applies.
  • Recommended to be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Ceremonies and Religious Gatherings

  • Permitted for up to 150 people per venue, including no more than 75 indoors (numbers include celebrant, musicians and technicians).
  • Density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies.
  • Exceptions applies for exclusive use by a single school. Refer to MACS for details.

Funerals (indoors and outdoors)

  • Permitted with no more than 75 people (plus those necessary to conduct the funeral).
  • Children under 12 months old are not counted towards this cap.

Weddings (indoor and outdoor)

  • Permitted with no more than 20 people (including the two persons being married, celebrant, two witnesses).
  • These settings apply to any venue in which a wedding is held, except for private residences where private gathering limits apply.

Social gatherings, visitors and leaving home

  • Can leave home for any reason.
  • Intra-state travel: Removal of 25km travel limit.
  • Movement between Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria unrestricted.

Private Gatherings in the home

  • Limited to 2 adults per day together or separately (dependants of visiting adults excluded from cap).

Public Gatherings (park, beach etc.)

  • Permitted for up to 20 people.

Care Facility Visitors

  • No visitors permitted into aged care or other care facility settings except for end-of-life reasons and permitted purposes only.

Hospital Visitors

  • No visitors permitted into aged care or other care facility settings except for end-of-life reasons and permitted purposes only; as a support partner for birth, or a parent to accompany a child.

Work

  • If you can work from home, you should continue doing so. Capped at 50%, or up to 20 people if total workplace is 40 or less.

QR Contact tracing

  • 15-min threshold removed. All venue attendees must register.

Under no circumstances should anyone awaiting a COVID-19 test verification, including Clergy (even without presenting symptoms) attend a church or parish setting until a diagnosis is confirmed. Additionally, under no circumstances should anyone attend who is closely connected to people who are awaiting test results or who have tested positive.

Victoria

We welcome the opening up of our places of worship and opportunities for gathering, but remain mindful and respectful that many in our community remain feeling cautious and anxious, and that density quotients will prevent our full communities gathering as they would wish.

For the time being, all Catholics in Melbourne continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further directed by the Archbishop. We continue to carry the happy obligation to keep Sunday holy, whether we can attend Mass or not, and can do so by any kind of prayer with members of our household and parish, reading holy scripture, and encouraging one another in our faith. Prayerfully watching an online Mass continues to be a great source of comfort on Sundays.

Where applicable, the following Liturgical Guidelines will apply, noting the difference in allowances between Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria: